Leinster Team Named For Champions Cup Opener With Benetton at the RDS Arena

Strong selection.

Leo Cullen has named his Leinster team for this weekend’s Champions Cup opener with Benetton Rugby at the RDS Arena in Dublin.

Similar to last week’s win away to Connacht, Cullen has again brought a number of Ireland internationals back in for the first time this season, with a number of those that have starred in the first six weekends of the season also retained.

At fullback Jordan Larmour is in for his first game in blue of the season, with Dave Kearney on the right-wing and James Lowe on the left. Joe Tomane is selected in the 12 jersey, with Garry Ringrose another involved for the first time this season outside him.

Luke McGrath starts for the second week in a row with club captain Johnny Sexton making his seasonal bow at 10.

In the pack, Cian Healy starts again this week with Andrew Porter also selected to start from tighthead. Rónan Kelleher has been rewarded for an excellent start to the season with a European debut at hooker.

Devin Toner is joined in the second row by another one of the returning Irish contingent, James Ryan.

In the back row, Rhys Ruddock starts this week having been amongst the replacements last weekend, with Josh van der Flier on the openside for his first involvement of the season and finally, former Ireland Under 20s captain Caelan Doris makes his first start in Europe from number eight.

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets): 

15. Jordan Larmour (39)
14. Dave Kearney (139)
13. Garry Ringrose (65)
12. Joe Tomane (18)
11. James Lowe (34)
10. Johhny Sexton (160) CAPTAIN
9. Luke McGrath (114)
1. Cian Healy (209)
2. Rónan Kelleher (7)
3. Andrew Porter (54)
4. Devin Toner (236)
5. James Ryan (31)
6. Rhys Ruddock (162)
7. Josh van der Flier (73)
8. Caelan Doris (21)

16. James Tracy (98)
17. Peter Dooley (66)
18. Michael Bent (130)
19. Scott Fardy (48)
20. Max Deegan (52)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (76)
22. Ross Byrne (76)
23. Rory O’Loughlin (66)