Champions Cup team news: Same again for Munster as Sexton is rested for Leinster
Munster have named an unchanged team for their crunch Champions Cup clash against Castres in Thomond Park on Sunday (KO 1pm).
Johann van Graan will stick to the 15 who suffered an agonising late 34-30 defeat against Racing 92 last week knowing a bonus point win over Castres will be enough to ensure they will finish top of Pool 4.
As reported by Independent.ie this morning, it is Ross Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park, not Jonathan Sexton and Luke McGrath, who will guide Leinster into battle against Montpellier at The Altrad Stadium tomorrow (KO 1.0, Sky Sports Action).
Wallaby Scott Fardy is the 'non-European' player to lose out as James Ryan and Jordan Larmour, on the wing, will have the chance to show Joe Schmidt they are ready to play a part in the Six Nations.
Ulster, meanwhile, have made three changes to the side who beat La Rochelle last weekend for Sunday's game with Wasps (KO 3.15) with Darren Cave, Kieran Treadwell and Kyle McCall all included.
Munster: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Niall Scannell, James Cronin, John Ryan, Darren O’Shea, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Alex Wootton.
Leinster: 15. Rob Kearney, 14. Jordan Larmour, 13. Robbie Henshaw, 12. Isa Nacewa, 11. James Lowe, 10. Ross Byrne, 9. Jamison Gibson-Park, 1. Cian Healy, 2. Seán Cronin, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Devin Toner, 5. James Ryan, 6. Dan Leavy, 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Jack Conan
International Rugby Newsletter
Replacements: 16. Bryan Byrne, 17. Jack McGrath, 18. Andrew Porter, 19. Ross Molony, 20. Jordi Murphy, 21. Luke McGrath, 22. Joey Carbery, 23. Fergus McFadden
Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU)
Ulster: (15-9): C Piutau; L Ludik, D Cave, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; C Lealiifano, J Cooney; (1-8): K McCall, R Best (captain), R Ah You, A O'Connor, K Treadwell, I Henderson, S Reidy, N Timoney;
Replacements (16-23): R Herring, A Warwick, W Herbst, M Rea, C Henry, D Shanahan, J McPhillips, R Lyttle.