Saturday 22 October 2016

Leo Cullen rings the changes as he names his first Champions Cup team

Published 13/11/2015 | 12:51

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen with Jonathan Sexton during squad training
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen with Jonathan Sexton during squad training

Leinster boss Leo Cullen has made nine changes from the team that beat Scarlets in the Pro12 as he prepates his team for their Champions Cup clash against Wasps on Sunday.

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Isa Nacewa is back to captain the side from full back and Zane Kirchner continues on the right wing with Dave Kearney coming in on the left to complete the back three.

Noel Reid and Fergus McFadden form a new look centre partnership. Reid has played in all of Leinster's games so far this season and also started the corresponding fixture last season from 12, while McFadden also has experience of playing 13 against Wasps having played there in the 2013 Challenge Cup quarter-final.

In the half backs Eoin Reddan gets the nod to start at scrumhalf against his former club with whom he won a Heineken Cup in 2007 and an English Premiership title in 2008. Johnny Sexton makes his first RDS start since returning from Racing 92 at outhalf.

Only Mike Ross is retained in the front row at tight head having scored only his second try for Leinster in last week's win over the Scarlets. His only previous try came against Wasps in that 2013 quarter-final in Adams Park.Jack McGrath and Richardt Strauss complete the front row at loose head and hooker. McGrath wins his 80th Leinster cap on Sunday.

Devin Toner and Mike McCarthy form an experienced second row with over 450 professional club appearances between them. McCarthy started out his professional career with Wasps (then London Wasps) and made six appearances in total before moving to Connacht.

In the back row Jordi Murphy and Sean O'Brien are selected at blindside and openside flanker, while Jamie Heaslip will make his 75th Champions Cup appearance when he lines out at the base of the scrum.


15. Isa Nacewa CAPTAIN

14. Zane Kirchner

13. Fergus McFadden

12. Noel Reid

11. Dave Kearney

10. Johnny Sexton

9. Eoin Reddan

1. Jack McGrath

2. Richardt Strauss

3. Mike Ross

4. Devin Toner

5. Mike McCarthy

6. Jordi Murphy

7. Sean O'Brien

8. Jamie Heaslip


16. Sean Cronin

17. Cian Healy

18. Tadhg Furlong

19. Hayden Triggs

20. Jack Conan

21. Luke McGrath

22. Ian Madigan

23. Garry Ringrose


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