No Joey Carbery or Rob Kearney for Leinster

UCD outhalf Ross Byrne is in for his first start in Champions Cup after impressing last week

Rob Kearney misses out this weekend through injury. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Rob Kearney misses out this weekend through injury. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has been forced to leave out both Rob Kearney and Joey Carbery from his match day 23 to take on Northampton Saints in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening.

With injury ruling both Kearney and Carbery out of the Champions Cup, pool four encounter, Cullen has drafted in South African international Zane Kirchner for his 75th Leinster cap, while UCD outhalf Ross Byrne will make his first start in Europe having impressed off the bench last week in Northampton.

Otherwise it is the same starting XV that accounted for the Saints in Franklin’s Gardens last Friday with Adam Byrne and Isa Nacewa the other two in the Leinster back three along with Kirchner. Nacewa captains the side on the occasion of his 160th appearance in blue and will go past the 600 point mark for the club should he score four points or more tomorrow in the Aviva Stadium.

Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw continue in the centre with UCD players Luke McGrath and Ross Byrne in the half backs.

The Irish international trio of Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin and last week’s man of the match Tadhg Furlong continue in the front row. Together they have 103 Irish caps between them.

Devin Toner - who made his 50th European appearance last week - continues in the second row with former Maori All Black Hayden Triggs beside him in the number five jersey.

In the back row, Sean O’Brien, Josh van der Flier and Jamie Heaslip complete the starting fifteen for Leinster.

On the bench Noel Reid returns from a foot injury sustained in the win against the Dragons in the RDS a few weeks ago.

LEINSTER: Zane Kirchner; Adam Byrne, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Isa Nacewa (captain); Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong; Devin Toner, Hayden Triggs; Sean O’Brien, Josh van der Flier, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: James Tracy, Cian Healy, Michael Bent, Rhys Ruddock, Jack Conan, Jamison Gibson-Park, Noel Reid, Rory O’Loughlin.

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