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Tomane Is Leinster’s Lone Change For Toulouse Test

Tomane Is Leinster’s Lone Change For Toulouse Test

The Leinster team to play Toulouse in the second round of the Heineken Champions Cup at Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday (kick-off 4.15pm local time/3.15pm Irish time) has been announced by head coach Leo Cullen.

Rob Kearney has a tight quad following last Friday’s first round victory over Wasps, so a reshuffled back-three sees Jordan Larmour move to full-back with Joe Tomane starting his first European game for Leinster, and James Lowe, the man-of-the-match from the Pool 1 opener, continuing on the left wing.

The rest of the province’s back-line is unchanged as Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw are retained as the centre pairing, and captain Jonathan Sexton and Luke McGrath, who bagged a well-taken brace against Wasps, at half-back.

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Dan Leavy, who injured his calf in the warm-up last week, remains an absentee so Rhys Ruddock continues at blindside flanker, with Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan completing the loose forwards trio. Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong flank Sean Cronin in the front row, and Devin Toner and James Ryan provide the support in behind.

Previewing this clash of the record four-time European Cup winners, Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty said: “When you go over there, it is almost an attack on the senses. There’s an atmosphere. There’s a history. There’s so much about Toulouse that you have to respect. We understand that.

“Toulouse hasn’t changed. There is still an atmosphere. There’s still a group of players and group of coaches and a group of supporters that love the game. They play the game with huge passion. That hasn’t changed for me.

“They are going to be confident. They’ve got world class players and huge size in their pack. When you watch them they’ve got lots of rugby intelligence. You’re defending and they’re rumbling along at a pace that suits them then they can break out and just catch you. I wouldn’t get tricked by looking at anybody’s shape and saying, ‘we’re better conditioned, we take them through phases, we’re going to score, they can knock off’.

“Their rugby intelligence, when they can attack a ruck or when it’s time to kick or time to play, they do that really well. The rugby intelligence is excellent. So you can get tricked a bit thinking, ‘we have this’, and that, and ‘we can run this team off the park’. We’re not expecting to run this team off the park, we’re expecting a physical challenge.”

LEINSTER (v Racing 92): Jordan Larmour; Joe Tomane, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Jonathan Sexton (capt), Luke McGrath, Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Replacements: James Tracy, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Scott Fardy, Sean O’Brien, Nick McCarthy, Ross Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin.