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Leinster Stick With Winning Formula From Bath Match

Leinster Stick With Winning Formula From Bath Match

After training at the RDS this morning, Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor has announced his team to take on Toulon in Sunday’s European Champions Cup semi-final in Marseille (kick-off 4.15pm local time/3.15pm Irish time).

It is as you were with no change to the team selected for the quarter-final against Bath two weeks ago, although there is one alteration to the bench with Ben Marshall included.

Twelve players come back into the starting line-up after last weekend’s GUINNESS PRO12 defeat to the Newport Gwent Dragons. Marshall, who started the game at Rodney Parade, will be on bench duty against Toulon after Tom Denton picked up a muscle strain (bicep) earlier this week.

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The back-three consists of Rob Kearney at full-back, Fergus McFadden on the right wing for his 125th provincial cap, with Luke Fitzgerald selected on the left wing.

In the centre Ben Te’o, who scored two tries against the Dragons, is again selected in the number 13 jersey with Ian Madigan resuming at inside centre. Madigan scored all of Leinster’s points in the victory against Bath. Isaac Boss will start at scrum half with Jimmy Gopperth outside him in the number 10 shirt.

Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Mike Ross have been selected in the front row with Healy making only his fourth start of the season for Leinster having recovered from injury. Behind them Devin Toner and Mike McCarthy pair up once more in the second row.

Jordi Murphy is the only player of the back row trio to be involved last weekend, having come off the bench early on for the injured Shane Jennings. Murphy starts at blindside flanker with Sean O’Brien selected at openside for only his third Leinster appearance of the season.

Jamie Heaslip captains the side from the base of the scrum in his 199th game for Leinster. Only four other players (Gordon D’Arcy, Leo Cullen, Jennings and Shane Horgan) have played more times for Leinster than the Naas man, who made his debut back in March 2005.

LEINSTER (v Toulon): Rob Kearney; Fergus McFadden, Ben Te’o, Ian Madigan, Luke Fitzgerald; Jimmy Gopperth, Isaac Boss; Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, Jordi Murphy, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip (capt).

Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Jack McGrath, Martin Moore, Ben Marshall, Dominic Ryan, Eoin Reddan, Gordon D’Arcy, Zane Kirchner.