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Ross Byrne And Kirchner To Start For Leinster

Ross Byrne And Kirchner To Start For Leinster

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has announced his team to play Northampton Saints in Champions Cup round 4 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

With injury ruling out both Rob Kearney and Joey Carbery, Leo Cullen has drafted in South African international Zane Kirchner for his 75th Leinster cap, while UCD out-half Ross Byrne will make his first start in Europe having impressed off the bench last week in Northampton.

Otherwise it is the same side that accounted for Saints at Franklin’s Gardens last Friday, with Adam Byrne and Isa Nacewa the other two players in the Leinster back-three along with Kirchner. Nacewa captains the side on the occasion of his 160th appearance in blue and will go past the 600-point mark for the province should he score four points or more this weekend.

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Garry Ringrose, the scorer of Leinster’s opening try in Northampton, and Robbie Henshaw continue in the centre with UCD club-mates Luke McGrath and Ross Byrne pairing up together at half-back.

The experienced international trio of Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong – the man-of-the-match in round 3 – continue in the front row. Together, they have 103 Ireland caps between them.

Devin Toner, who made his 50th European Cup appearance last week, continues in the second row with former Maori All Black Hayden Triggs beside him in the number 5 jersey. Back rowers Sean O’Brien, Josh van der Flier and Jamie Heaslip complete the starting line-up.

On the bench, Noel Reid makes a welcome return from a foot injury sustained in the win over the Newport Gwent Dragons at the RDS a few weeks ago. Tickets for Saturday’s game at the Aviva Stadium are still available and can be purchased here.

LEINSTER (v Northampton Saints): Zane Kirchner; Adam Byrne, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Isa Nacewa (capt); Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, Hayden Triggs, Sean O’Brien, Josh van der Flier, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: James Tracy, Cian Healy, Michael Bent, Rhys Ruddock, Jack Conan, Jamison Gibson Park, Noel Reid, Rory O’Loughlin.