Sport Champions Cup

Thursday 18 January 2018

Johnny Sexton and Sean O'Brien ruled out of Leinster's Champions Cup opener

Isa Nacewa returns but (inset left) Sean O'Brien and Sexton (inset right) miss out
Isa Nacewa returns but (inset left) Sean O'Brien and Sexton (inset right) miss out
Isa Nacewa returns but (inset) Sean O'Brien misses out

Des Berry

Leinster will be handicapped by the loss of Jonathan Sexton and Sean O’Brien to injury when they turn out against Montpellier in The Champions Cup at The RDS tomorrow.

What was already a real 50-50 encounter could possibly have been tipped in the French club's favour as Leinster lose their best forward.

In his place, the inexperienced Ross Byrne will make his second Champions Cup start, following on from Northampton Saints last December.

The temptation to move Joey Carbery up from full-back has been resisted, the coaches preferring Byrne’s game management.

In addition, Isa Nacewa returns at inside centre with Robbie Henshaw moving to thirteen, his favourite position.

Leinster: J Carbery; A Bynre, R Henshaw, I Nacewa (capt), B Daly; R Byrne, L McGrath; J McGrath, J Tracy, T Furlong, D Toner, S Fardy, R Ruddock, J van der Flier, J Conan.

Replacements: S Cronin, C Healy, M Bent, R Molony, J Murphy; J Gibson-Park, N Reid, F McFadden.

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