Sunday 25 September 2016

Johnny's back! - Sexton to make first Leinster start in two years, Triggs poised for debut

Published 30/10/2015 | 12:30

Leinster's Jonathon Sexton in action during squad training this week.
Leinster's Jonathon Sexton in action during squad training this week.
Leinster's Jonathon Sexton in action during squad training this week.

Johnny Sexton will make his first start for Leinster in two years when the province travel to Italy to take on Benetton Treviso in the Guinness PRO12 on Sunday at the Stadio Monigo.

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Leinster head coach Leo Cullen welcomes back a number of World Cup players as Luke Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney, Eoin Reddan, jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Mike McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock and Jordi Murphy all start in a formidable looking side captained by Isa Nacewa at full-back.

Cullen confirmed that Nacewa had been installed as club captain on a permanent basis following the retirement of Kevin McLaughlin, with Sexton and Jamie Heaslip named as vice-captain.

Leinster fans will welcome the sight of a returning Sexton after his summer switch from Racing Metro.

Leinster's Jonathon Sexton in action during squad training this week.
Leinster's Jonathon Sexton in action during squad training this week.

He has 110 Leinster caps to date and 1,027 points and it will be a first game for Leinster for the 30-year-old St. Mary's club man since the last game of the 2012/2013 season when Leinster beat Ulster in the PRO12 Final.

Ben Te'o and Luke Fitzgerald start in the centre for the first time together although they have played there before in the Guinness PRO12 last season at home to the Dragons when Fitzgerald came on early in the game for the injured Noel Reid, while scrum-half Eoin Reddan makes his first start of the campaign.

In the forwards, it is a completely new front row as Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong all start for the first time this season. Furlong did however feature off the bench last weekend against the Glasgow Warriors.

Six foot seven New Zealander and former Blues second row Hayden Triggs makes his debut alongside Mike McCarthy who starts for the fifth time this season.

In the back row Rhys Ruddock starts again at blindside while Jordi Murphy comes in at openside for his 61st appearance in Leinster colours since his debut in September 2011. Wicklow man Jack Conan completes the pack from number eight.

Richardt Strauss, Cian Healy and Devin Toner are all in line to make their seasonal bows from the bench as Leinster go in search of a first away win of the season.

Leinster team v Treviso (Kick Off: 3.00pm - Irish time - live on SKY Sports):

Isa Nacewa ©; Fergus McFadden, Ben Te'o, Luke Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney; Johnny Sexton, Eoin Reddan; Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong; Hayden Triggs, Mike McCarthy; Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy,Jack Conan.

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