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Leinster set to call upon Scott Fardy for huge Champions Cup clash against Exeter

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Scott Fardy is in line for a starting role against Exeter. Photo: Sportsfile

Scott Fardy is in line for a starting role against Exeter. Photo: Sportsfile

Scott Fardy is in line for a starting role against Exeter. Photo: Sportsfile

Leinster are expected to opt for experience over youth in the one major selection dilemma ahead of Saturday’s mouth-watering Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final clash against Exeter Chiefs.

Leo Cullen is set to stick with almost the same XV he named to face Toulon in last weekend’s postponed game, with Scott Fardy pushing to get the nod ahead of Ryan Baird.

Although Baird (21) was due to start last week alongside Devin Toner, Fardy (36) may be preferred in what would be a vastly experienced Leinster second-row partnership.  

Baird would provide an explosive option from the bench, as Cullen calls upon his big guns for the trip to Sandy Park to face the champions.

Johnny Sexton will captain Leinster alongside Luke McGrath at half-back, with Robbie Henshaw renewing his centre combination with Rory O’Loughlin. Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour and James Lowe are set to make up a familiar back three.

Up front, Rónan Kelleher is in line to pack down alongside experienced props Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong, with Andrew Porter on the bench.

A back-row of Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier and in-form Jack Conan looks to have a good balance to it.

Possible Leinster team v Exeter – H Keenan; J Larmour, R O’Loughlin, R Henshaw, J Lowe; J Sexton (capt), L McGrath; C Healy, R Kelleher, T Furlong; D Toner, S Fardy; R Ruddock, J van der Flier, J Conan. Reps: J Tracy, E Byrne, A Porter, R Molony, R Baird, H O’Sullivan/J Gibson-Park, R Byrne, D Kearney.

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