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What time, what channel, team news and all you need to know about Leinster v La Rochelle


Leinster's Leo Cullen and La Rochelle's Ronan O'Gara. Pictures: Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile and Romain Biard/Sportsfile

Leinster's Leo Cullen and La Rochelle's Ronan O'Gara. Pictures: Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile and Romain Biard/Sportsfile

Leinster's Leo Cullen and La Rochelle's Ronan O'Gara. Pictures: Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile and Romain Biard/Sportsfile

Irish rugby legends Leo Cullen and Ronan O'Gara come face-to-face on the touchline this weekend as Leinster and La Rochelle battle to be crowned European Champions Cup winners.

Where and when is it on?

The final takes place at Stade Vélodrome in Marseille and kicks off at 4.45pm on Saturday.

What’s the team news?

Leinster head into the Champions Cup final showdown with La Rochelle at full strength after Tadhg Furlong and James Lowe were deemed fit enough to be named in the starting team.

Leinster: H Keenan, J O'Brien, G Rngrose, R Henshaw, J Lowe, J Sexton (C), J Gibson-Park, A Porter, R Kelleher, T Furlong, R Molony, J Ryan, C Doris, J van der Flier, J Conan.

Replacements: D Sheehan, C Healy, M Alaalatoa, J McCarthy, R Ruddock, L McGrath, R Byrne, C Frawley.

For Ronan O'Gara, it is mixed news on the injury front. He is without two All Blacks, with back row Victor Vito and scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow ruled out. However, the French side will be buoyed by the presence of Will Skelton in the starting team after recovering from a calf injury, with the big Aussie having caused Leinster serious problems in previous knockout games.

La Rochelle: B Dulin, D Leyds, J Sinzelle, J Danty, R Rhule, I West, T Berjon, D Priso, P Bourgarit, U Atonio, T Lavault, W Skelton, W Liebenberg, M Haddad, G Alldritt.

Replacements: F Bosch, R Wardi, J Scalvi, R Sazy, R Bourdeau, A Retiere, L Botia, J Favre.

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Leinster boss Cullen says he and his fellow coaches had already discussed and prepared for the likelihood of Will Skelton featuring against them in Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup final.

The mind games have been in full flow in recent weeks, as La Rochelle head coach O'Gara repeatedly said that he didn't expect Skelton to have recovered from a calf injury until next season.

Where can I watch the game?

Virgin Media Two, Channel 4 & BT Sport 2 are all showing the game, which will also be streamed on the Virgin Media and BT Sport players.

What can I read and listen to about the game on Independent.ie?

Stuart Lancaster has poured cold water on a return to the England job and hinted that he could emulate Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and stay at Leinster for "ten or eleven years."

Disruption has been the calling card of La Rochelle in the run-up to tomorrow’s final and the emphasis will not change once Wayne Barnes blows his first whistle; it will be to their comfort to hear that sound as often as possible in the broiling heat on the Med.

David Kelly brings you the latest from the opposition camp with quotes from Ronan O'Gara here.

On this week's episode of The Left Wing, Will Slattery and Luke Fitzgerald look ahead to the match.

Will asks Luke what it's like to prepare for a Champions Cup final and how it differs from other big games, while Luke also compares how Michael Cheika and Joe Schmidt prepared Leinster for final appearances.

The lads discuss the areas where La Rochelle might target Leinster, as well as where the eastern province can hurt the French side.

Listen and follow the Left Wing on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts from.

For more, visit: www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/the-left-wing/

What are the match odds?

Leinster are favourites at 2/9 with La Rochelle 7/2 and the draw 22/1.

What are the coaches saying?

Leo Cullen:

“There are certain things Skelton does that he is very effective at.

“Being aware of them and then trying to come up with a plan ourselves to deal with some of the threats he poses.

“We have discussed it, so that's why the comments (on Friday), like, some of the stuff you take with a pinch of salt for that reason.

“We'll try to be awake for everything as best we possibly can. It's just trying to prepare well this week to give ourselves the best chance.”

Ronan O'Gara:

"Twelve months in sport is an extremely long time. We’re aware that they have got better. We most definitely have got better.

“And we are concentrating on elements in our game that we need to be better at to give ourselves a fighting chance at the weekend.”

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