Leinster & Northampton Name Teams For Crucial Champions Cup Clash
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Leinster and Northampton have named their sides for tomorrow’s Champions Cup group stage game.
The clash will be crucial to both sides as they hope to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition as each team in the group has a win and a loss each with Leinster currently topping the group by a single point.
There are a number of changes to the Leinster team that faced the Dragons last weekend in the Guinness PRO12 with 10 Irish internationals back in the mix. Rob Kearney has passed his return to play protocol and starts at full back with Isa Nacewa captaining the side from the left wing and Adam Byrne on the right wing.
Robbie Henshaw has also recovered and Garry Ringrose will start in the centre together for the first time since the Round 2 game against Montpellier. In the half backs it’s as you were from last weekend with Irish internationals Luke McGrath and Joey Carbery continuing in the nine and ten jerseys.
It’s a new front row with Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong starting. Devin Toner will earn his 50th cap for the province and is joined in the second-row department by Hayden Triggs.
Sean O’Brien has also been passed fit and starts at blind side with Josh van der Flier selected at open side and Jamie Heaslip at number eight.
LEINSTER XV: (Leinster caps in brackets)
15. Rob Kearney (182)
14. Adam Byrne (8)
13. Garry Ringrose (29)
12. Robbie Henshaw (3)
11. Isa Nacewa CAPTAIN (158)
10. Joey Carbery (10)
9. Luke McGrath (59)
1. Jack McGrath (101)
2. Sean Cronin (121)
3. Tadhg Furlong (56)
4. Devin Toner (187)
5. Hayden Triggs (18)
6. Sean O’Brien (105)
7. Josh van der Flier (32)
8. Jamie Heaslip (223)
16. James Tracy (27)
17. Cian Healy (161)
18. Michael Bent (70)
19. Rhys Ruddock (119)
20. Jack Conan (35)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (10)
22. Ross Byrne (7)
23. Rory O’Loughlin (7)
There’s a familiar face in the Northampton team with former Munster star JJ Hanrahan starting at 12. Ken Pisi and Jamie Elliot start on the wings, with no George North who was stood down this week following last weekend’s controversial head injury.
Ben Foden starts at fullback while Leinster will be wary of the threat that French back-row Louis Picamoles offers as he starts at eight.
— Northampton Saints (@SaintsRugby) December 8, 2016