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Van Der Flier Handed First European Start Against Toulon

Van Der Flier Handed First European Start Against Toulon

Ahead of the Captain’s Run in UCD later this afternoon, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has announced the team to take on Toulon in Pool 5 of the European Champions Cup on Sunday (kick-off 4.15pm local time/3.15pm Irish time).

With last weekend’s game against the Glasgow Warriors falling victim to the elements and to Storm Desmond, Leinster’s starting line-up has a number of changes to the team that played against Ulster at the RDS two weeks ago.

In the backs Fergus McFadden, Rob Kearney and Isaac Boss come in, while in the pack it is a completely new front row for the trip to Stade Félix Mayol.

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The fit-again Kearney starts at full-back for only his second Leinster game this season. McFadden and captain Isa Nacewa have scored 81 points between them so far in the 2015/16 campaign, including four tries, and start on the right and left wing respectively.

Luke Fitzgerald and Ben Te’o start in the centre with the experienced Boss partnering Jonathan Sexton paired together at half-back.

Up front, it is as you were in the back row with Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier and Jamie Heaslip named to start. It will be van der Flier’s first start for Leinster in the Champions Cup having impressed off the bench against Bath in round 2, scoring a try in the process, and when starting against Ulster last time out in the PRO12.

The second row is also unchanged from that recent interprovincial clash with Devin Toner partnering Mike McCarthy, who makes his 59th appearance for Leinster but 299th senior club appearance in total.

Finally, the front row sees a new combination of Ireland internationals Cian Healy (pictured above), Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross line up against the reigning European champions. Ten of the Leinster side also started last season’s agonising 25-20 semi-final extra-time loss to Toulon in Marseille.

LEINSTER (v Toulon): Rob Kearney; Fergus McFadden, Ben Te’o, Luke Fitzgerald, Isa Nacewa (capt); Jonathan Sexton, Isaac Boss; Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Martin Moore, Tom Denton, Jordi Murphy, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Dave Kearney.