Leinster v Ulster, Champions Cup last 16: TV details, team news and all you need to know

Ross Byrne

Niall Scully

A FULL house at the Aviva. The turnstiles have been clicking merrily on Lansdowne Road over the past couple of weeks.

The audience would love to see Jonny Sexton, but, alas, injury has come-a-calling. Leinster are in fabulous form. Unbeaten this season, formidable strength-in-depth and with a cluster of Ireland's Grand Slam winners.

Ulster have also been doing nicely of late. Five wins from their last six matches but this is their first Champions Cup knock-out game since 2014.

In Pool A of the Champions Cup, Leinster have won four from four. In pool B, Ulster have won one from four.

Leinster had a youthful look as they drew against the Stormers in the URC at the RDS last Friday. Ulster beat the Bulls in Belfast.

What time is kick-off?

The game kicks-off on Saturday at the Aviva (5.30).

Where can I watch it?

It's live on RTÉ 2 and BT Sport 4 and you can follow it on our live blog.

What the coaches say:

Leo Cullen (Leinster): "There's something special about the Champions Cup. We hope it's another great occasion. We are excited about the challenge. We have a very competitive squad. They all want to play. That's a positive dilemma to have."

Dan McFarland (Ulster): "We have to play at the peak of our ability. We have to make every moment a contest. We can influence the game in how we play. If you let up for a second against Leinster, that's when the floodgates will open."


Leinster 42

Ulster 19

Team news

Hugo Keenan has won his race to be fit for Leinster’s crunch Champions Cup last 16 clash with Ulster at a sold-out Aviva Stadium.

Keenan passed concussion protocols after a knock with Ireland in their historic Grand Slam success but Garry Ringrose and Caelan Doris miss out.

It’s just Leinster’s second sell-out of the entire campaign, with more than 7,000 Ulster fans expected for the knockout clash that will see members of Ireland’s Grand Slam side go head-to-head for the first time since toasting their success at the same venue.

Ross Byrne starts at out-half for Leinster in Johnny Sexton’s absence.

Jimmy O’Brien comes in to partner Robbie Henshaw in the centre while Jordan Larmour and James Lowe are on the wings.

Up front, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong make up the front-row, with Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan in the back-row. In one of Leo Cullen’s biggest decisions, Ross Molony partners captain James Ryan in the second-row.

Ulster have brought back their big guns for Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup last-16 clash with Leinster with Ireland's Stuart McCloskey, Rob Herring and Tom O'Toole all back for the Aviva Stadium tie.

The trio all sat out last week's win over the Vodacom Bulls following their Grand Slam exploits during the Six Nations but will start as three of five changes for Ulster's biggest game of the season.

Also returning to the run-on team are Scotland prop Rory Sutherland and second row Alan O'Connor, who captains Dan McFarland's side from the engine room.

An unchanged back three sees the trio of Mike Lowry, Rob Baloucoune and Jacob Stockdale renew their partnership, with McCloskey forming a familiar centre pairing with James Hume.

Ulster's Champions Cup showdown with Leinster a sell-out Experience of 2019 means Ulster will head south believing they can win

Nathan Doak keeps his starting place at scrum-half, partnering Billy Burns to round out the back line, with Sutherland, Herring and O'Toole forming a completely new front row from that which faced the Bulls.

O'Connor is joined by another Ireland international, Kieran Treadwell, in the second row, with the back row unchanged as David McCann gets the nod alongside Nick Timoney and Duane Vermeulen.

Hooker Tom Stewart, who scored a hat-trick against the Bulls, has to settle for a place on the bench alongside Eric O'Sullivan, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Harry Sheridan and Marcus Rea in the forwards, with John Cooney, Stewart Moore and Ben Moxham the backs replacements.


(15-9) Mike Lowry; Rob Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Billy Burns, Nathan Doak; (1-8) Rory Sutherland, Rob Herring, Tom O'Toole; Alan O'Connor (captain), Kieran Treadwell; David McCann, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements (16-23): Tom Stewart, Eric O'Sullivan, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Harry Sheridan, Marcus Rea, John Cooney, Stewart Moore, Ben Moxham.


(15-9) Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Jimmy O'Brien, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; (1-8) Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; Ross Molony, James Ryan (captain); Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Replacements (16-23): John McKee, Cian Healy, Michael Ala'alatoa, Jordan Jenkins, Scott Penny, Luke McGrath, Harry Byrne, Ciaran Frawley.

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)