Breaking: Leinster & Northampton Name Teams For Champions Cup Clash
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Leinster and Northampton have named their teams for this weekend’s crucial Champions Cup pool clash.
With injury ruling both Rob Kearney and Joey Carbery out of the Champions Cup, Pool 4 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 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 experienced international trio of Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin and last week’s Heineken Man of the Match Tadhg Furlong continue in the front row.
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.
Finally in the back row, Sean O’Brien, Josh van der Flier and Jamie Heaslip complete the starting XV for Leinster.
LEINSTER: (Leinster caps in brackets)
15. Zane Kirchner (74)
14. Adam Byrne (9)
13. Garry Ringrose (30)
12. Robbie Henshaw (4)
11. Isa Nacewa CAPTAIN (159)
10. Ross Byrne (8)
9. Luke McGrath (60)
1. Jack McGrath (102)
2. Sean Cronin (122)
3. Tadhg Furlong (57)
4. Devin Toner (188)
5. Hayden Triggs (19)
6. Sean O’Brien (106)
7. Josh van der Flier (33)
8. Jamie Heaslip (224)
16. James Tracy (28)
17. Cian Healy (162)
18. Michael Bent (71)
19. Rhys Ruddock (120)
20. Jack Conan (36)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (12)
22. Noel Reid (70)
23. Rory O’Loughlin (8)
Northampton have also named their team with JJ Hanrahan passing a late fitness scare to line-out at inside centre. Stephen Myler continues at outhalf and there’s no George North once again, as he continues his recovery from a head injury.
Saints will of course be without banned England skipper Dylan Hartley.
— Northampton Saints (@SaintsRugby) December 16, 2016