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Ross Byrne Takes Sexton’s Place In Leinster Side

Ross Byrne Takes Sexton’s Place In Leinster Side

Nine players who started Leinster’s Champions Cup final win are retained in the starting XV for Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO14 semi-final clash with Munster at the RDS (kick-off 3.15pm).

For the sold-out interprovincial derby, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has recalled a number players to the matchday 23, while the sidelined Robbie Henshaw (knee) and Jonathan Sexton (calf) miss out for the newly-crowned European champions. 

Joey Carbery will start at full-back with Jordan Larmour and New Zealander James Lowe on either wing. Leinster will be captained for the last time at the RDS by Isa Nacewa, who has overcome a calf problem. He will be partnered by Garry Ringrose who was included on the list of senior contracts signed ahead of next season.

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Ross Byrne takes over from Sexton at out-half, the 23-year-old having kicked 12 points in Leinster’s most recent meeting with Munster – last December’s 34-24 bonus point victory at Thomond Park. Luke McGrath continues in the number 9 jersey.

In the pack, Jack McGrath comes in for Cian Healy at loosehead prop, featuring alongside Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong, They are backed up by Devin Toner and James Ryan, the Champions Cup final man-of-the-match, while Rhys Ruddock and Jack Conan are reintroduced in a freshened-up back row.

Ruddock, who is back to full fitness after a hamstring injury, is looking to end an injury-ruined season on a high, while Jordi Murphy switches from number 8 to openside for his final appearance in blue at the RDS ahead of his move to Ulster.

LEINSTER (v Munster): Joey Carbery; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Isa Nacewa (capt), James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Jack Conan.

Replacements: James Tracy, Cian Healy, Andrew Porter, Scott Fardy, Max Deegan, Nick McCarthy, Rory O’Loughlin, Barry Daly.