Jump to main content


Leinster Include Kearney, Reddan And McGrath For Toulon Test

Leinster Include Kearney, Reddan And McGrath For Toulon Test

After this morning’s Captain’s Run, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has announced his matchday 23 to face Toulon in Pool 5 of the European Champions Cup at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 5.15pm).

The game will mark significant milestones in the careers of Rhys Ruddock and Mike McCarthy, while the recently retired Kevin McLaughlin will also be honoured before kick-off at the home of Irish Rugby.

Leinster have also announced that 43,910 tickets have been sold to date which include 6,434 ‘One Province’ tickets which is a record for this club-focused initiative.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Two Pool 4 games have come closest to such figures this season in the Champions Cup and both games included Leicester Tigers. Their round 1 clash with Stade Francais had 20,286 in attendance at Welford Road, while their away encounter last weekend against Munster had 22,261 in attendance at Thomond Park.

Tickets for Leinster against Toulon are still available on www.leinsterrugby.ie, from Ticketmaster and on match day from the Ballsbridge Hotel from 12.30pm.

In addition to McLaughlin being introduced to the crowd before kick-off to acknowledge his stellar career in blue and in the green of Ireland, Leinster will also be celebrating at half-time the team of 1995 who represented Leinster in the first ever match in the European Cup. They played against Milan in 1995 and won 24-21.

In team news, Leo Cullen has made a few changes due to injuries picked up in training this week. Fergus McFadden and Isaac Boss have both failed to shake off minor strains in time for the the return fixture with Toulon.

Winger McFadden picked up a calf strain on Tuesday and did not come through the session this morning, likewise scrum half Boss who had a hamstring issue during the week. Neither injury is of long term concern.

As a result, in the backs, Rob Kearney continues at full-back with Dave Kearney coming in for McFadden on the right wing and Isa Nacewa on the left. Nacewa also captains the side in his first appearance at the Aviva Stadium since December 2012.

Luke Fitzgerald and Ben Te’o continue in the centre while Eoin Reddan takes over from the injured Boss at scrum half where he partners Jonathan Sexton, who scored three penalties against Toulon last Sunday.

In the pack, Jack McGrath starts at loosehead prop in place of Cian Healy who is free to play until the outcome of his appeal against a two-week suspension. Hooker Richardt Strauss and tighthead Mike Ross complete the front row.

In the second row Devin Toner and Mike McCarthy are once again selected. This will be McCarthy’s 300th senior club appearance since his debut for Wasps in the 2001/02 season against Sale Sharks.

There is no change either in the back row with Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier and Jamie Heaslip continuing in their roles. Ruddock also has reason to celebrate as Saturday’s fixture will mark his 100th Leinster appearance since his debut in December 2009 against the Newport Gwent Dragons.

Nick McCarthy is in line to make his Leinster senior debut from the bench. The 20-year-old UCD scrum half, who is a member of the Leinster Academy and was registered for the Champions Cup only this week in the absence of the injured Luke McGrath, was captain of the Ireland Under-20s last season.

LEINSTER (v Toulon): Rob Kearney; Dave Kearney, Ben Te’o, Luke Fitzgerald, Isa Nacewa (capt); Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan; Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Martin Moore, Tom Denton, Jordi Murphy, Nick McCarthy, Ian Madigan, Zane Kirchner.