18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
Supremely-committed winger McFadden was one of the players to stand out in the opening 40 minutes, using his pace to chase down kicks and defending smartly out wide.
However, Clermont hit back through a right-sided penalty from Parra and James' late drop goal put six points between the sides at the break - 15-9.
Sexton and Madigan probed with clever kicks on the resumption, and Isa Nacewa and McFadden both went close to collecting cross-field bombs from the Leinster number 10. Wales and Lions full-back Byrne did brilliantly to deny Nacewa near the try-line.
After two confidence-boosting scrums, with Mike Ross shunting Vincent Debaty backwards, Sexton slotted his fourth successful penalty with 53 minutes on the clock.
Clermont looked to be tiring but Byrne did well again to sweep the ball into touch with Nacewa bearing down on him as he chased Gordon D'Arcy's dangling kick.
Although the French outfit responded with two sidestepping runs from the dangerous Wesley Fofana, Leinster defended stoutly and continued to chip away at Vern Cotter's men.
However, a couple of loose lineouts - with replacement hooker Richardt Strauss on the pitch - robbed the province of promising positions as they failed to get the scores to match their territorial dominance.
Break-outs from Nalaga and Rougerie saw Clermont threaten in the dying minutes, and Leinster, with Shane Jennings making a key impact off the bench, had to put their bodies on the line in a bruising breakdown battle.
The result - Clermont Auvergne's third win of the campaign - leaves them with a five-point buffer at the top of the table. The sides will regroup for a vital second meeting at the Aviva Stadium next Saturday afternoon.
|ASM Clermont Auvergne Score Card|
|Leinster Rugby Score Card|