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Van Der Flier Replaces Ruddock In Leinster Back Row

Van Der Flier Replaces Ruddock In Leinster Back Row

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has made one enforced change in personnel for Saturday’s return Champions Cup encounter with Exeter Chiefs at the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 3.15pm).

Leinster Rugby have confirmed that with 40,000 tickets sold, the remaining Leinster v Exeter Chiefs tickets can still be bought online here or on match day from the Ticketmaster van on Lansdowne Road.

With Rhys Ruddock ruled out with a hamstring injury, it means that the player who replaced him early in the second half last weekend, Josh van der Flier, starts at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

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With van der Flier coming in to wear the number 7 jersey, it means a switch to the blindside for Sean O’Brien. The rest of the Leinster starting line-up is unchanged from the bruising 18-8 victory over the reigning English champions in Devon.

Rob Kearney, who is set for his 190th Leinster appearance, Fergus McFadden and captain Isa Nacewa are the back-three with Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose again joining forces in midfield. Jonathan Sexton, the scorer of 13 points in the Sandy Park fixture, and Luke McGrath command the half-back positions.

Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong – the man-of-the-match in round 3 – form an all-Ireland front row, with fellow internationals Devin Toner and Scott Fardy behind them. The back row sees O’Brien and van der Flier combine with number 8 Jack Conan, who scored Leinster’s crucial second try last time out.

There are two changes to the province’s bench with 21-year-old prop Andrew Porter in line to make his Champions Cup debut should he be introduced, while Dan Leavy has shaken off a hamstring injury to provide back row cover.

LEINSTER (v Exeter Chiefs): Rob Kearney; Fergus McFadden, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Isa Nacewa (capt); Jonathan Sexton, Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, Scott Fardy, Sean O’Brien, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Replacements: James Tracy, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, Dan Leavy, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Jordan Larmour.