Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has announced the team to face Glasgow Warriors in round 5 of the Champions Cup at the RDS on Sunday (kick-off 1pm). Ticket sales have gone past 16,000 and the remaining tickets can be purchased at www.leinsterrugby.ie or through Ticketmaster.
While making six personnel changes and two positional switches, Leo Cullen has handed a first Champions Cup start to Jordan Larmour. The Leinster Academy back came off the bench in both rounds 3 and 4 against Exeter Chiefs but this will be his first start at European level.
In another notable inclusion, there is a European debut for James Lowe. The New Zealander has scored two tries in three games for the province so far but all in the GUINNESS PRO14. He starts on the left wing on Sunday.
Fergus McFadden, who bagged a brace of tries against Ulster in last Saturday’s interprovincial derby, continues on the right wing. With Garry Ringrose injured, captain Isa Nacewa features in midfield alongside Robbie Henshaw who reverts to the outside centre berth. Jonathan Sexton and Luke McGrath slot back in as the half-back pairing.
In the pack, Sean Cronin joins Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong in the front row, Furlong having come through his return-to-play protocols and shaken off the elbow injury he picked up against Ulster. Devin Toner and Scott Fardy will start in the second row behind them.
Jordi Murphy moves from openside to blindside flanker, with Josh van der Flier back in to fill the number 7 jersey and fellow Ireland international Jack Conan is the final name in Cullen’s starting line-up. Hooker Bryan Byrne is poised to make his Champions Cup debut off the bench, while James Ryan has recovered from an ankle injury to make the replacements.
Cullen also gave an update on Sean O’Brien and Adam Byrne, who had hip and knee injuries coming into the game. O’Brien saw a specialist this week for the tightness in his hip as it had not responded to treatment as they would have liked. As a result, he had a small procedure and the target is to have him back available during the Six Nations window.
In addition, winger Byrne has gone through a period of rehab for a knee injury since November’s GUINNESS Series. He was not responding favourably to the conservative approach and, as a result, he saw a specialist this week. He will have a procedure today and a return to play timeline will be formalised following his surgery.
LEINSTER (v Glasgow Warriors): Jordan Larmour; Fergus McFadden, Robbie Henshaw, Isa Nacewa (capt), James Lowe; Jonathan Sexton, Luke McGrath; Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, Scott Fardy, Jordi Murphy, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.
Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Cian Healy, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, Dan Leavy, Nick McCarthy, Ross Byrne, Rob Kearney.