Jump to main content


Kearney, Henshaw And Furlong To Start For Leinster

Kearney, Henshaw And Furlong To Start For Leinster

Wexford man Tadhg Furlong is pictured training with the Leinster squad at Energia Park last week ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has made five personnel changes and one positional switch for Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup second round match against Lyon at Matmut Stade de Gerland (kick-off 4.15pm local time/3.15pm Irish time).

Following on from last Saturday’s 33-19 bonus point victory at home to Benetton Rugby, Kildare man James Tracy is poised to make his 100th appearance for his home province off the bench this weekend.

Vastly-experienced full-back Rob Kearney makes his first start for Leinster since returning from the Rugby World Cup, with Jordan Larmour shifting across to the right wing and James Lowe continuing on the left.

Garry Ringrose, the hat-trick hero and man-of-the-match against Benetton, and Robbie Henshaw are paired together for the first time this season in the centre from the start, while captain Jonathan Sexton and Luke McGrath start again together at half-back.

Up front, Cian Healy and Ronan Kelleher are retained from last week’s starting XV, and Tadhg Furlong has recovered from a back injury to feature at tighthead. Partnering James Ryan in the second row is Scott Fardy who wins his 50th cap for the province.

It is the same two on the flanks as Rhys Ruddock fills the blindside berth and Josh van der Flier earns his 75th cap at openside. Max Deegan replaces Caelan Doris at number 8 for his first European start.

Alongside fellow replacement Tracy, who is set to join Leinster’s 100-cap club, back rower Josh Murphy is standing by to make his European debut. He has 26 provincial caps already but tomorrow’s game marks his first involvement in a Champions Cup matchday squad.

LEINSTER (v Lyon): Rob Kearney; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Jonathan Sexton (capt), Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Ronan Kelleher, Tadhg Furlong, Scott Fardy, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Max Deegan.

Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, Josh Murphy, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Dave Kearney.