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Leinster Make Five Changes

Leinster Make Five Changes

The Leinster team to face Clermont Auvergne in Sunday’s Heineken Cup semi-final at the Stade Chaban-Delmas (kick-off 4pm local time/3pm Irish time) has been named.

There are five changes in personnel to the side that beat Ulster last time out in the RaboDirect PRO12.

Gordon D’Arcy returns to partner Brian O’Driscoll in the centre with Luke Fitzgerald joining Isa Nacewa, who will be making his 99th Leinster appearance, and Rob Kearney in the back-three.

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Isaac Boss has been preferred to Eoin Reddan at scrum half, linking up with half-back partner Jonathan Sexton, who has scored 77 points to date in this season’s tournament.

Cian Healy, who makes his 94th Leinster career appearance and his 36th in Europe, starts in an unchanged front row alongside Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross.

Leo Cullen leads the team and partners All Black Brad Thorn again at lock, with the recalled Shane Jennings joining fellow Ireland internationals Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip in the back row.

O’Brien switches to blindside flanker with Heaslip coming back in at number 8 and Jennings slotting in at openside. Kevin McLaughlin drops to the bench and Dominic Ryan misses out on a squad spot.

LEINSTER (v Clermont Auvergne): Rob Kearney; Isa Nacewa, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald; Jonathan Sexton, Isaac Boss; Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Leo Cullen (capt), Brad Thorn, Sean O’Brien, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Heinke van der Merwe, Nathan White, Devin Toner, Kevin McLaughlin, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden.