Sport Leinster Rugby

Sunday 19 August 2018

Leinster spring back row selection surprise as Sean O'Brien misses out on Saracens clash

3 November 2017; Scott Fardy of Leinster in the final moments of their defeat in the Guinness PRO14 Round 8 match between Glasgow Warriors and Leinster at Scotstoun in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
3 November 2017; Scott Fardy of Leinster in the final moments of their defeat in the Guinness PRO14 Round 8 match between Glasgow Warriors and Leinster at Scotstoun in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Des Berry

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has made an unexpected positional change to his forward pack for Sunday's blockbuster Champions Cup quarter-final against Saracens.

Former Australian international Scott Fardy, signed as a second row, will start at blindside flanker in what has been billed as the game of the season.

This means Ireland locks James Ryan and Devin Toner start in the middle row, giving Leinster a minimum of three first class lineout options.

In fact, it increases to four with the inclusion of the agile Jordi Murphy.

Read more - Comment: There's a lot of euphoria around Leinster right now - they are ten points up before Saracens game kicks off

Impressive cameos off the bench for Ireland in the Six Nations have earned Murphy a berth at number eight in a back row completed by openside Dan Leavy, who was a key performer in the recent Grand Slam-winning campaign.  

Sean O'Brien misses out after failing a late fitness test, with Max Deegan taking his place on the bench.

In the backline, Isa Nacewa lines out at inside centre alongside Garry Ringrose, while Fergus McFadden has recovered from a concussion to take his place on the right wing.

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Rob Kearney (193)

14. Fergus McFadden (166)

13. Garry Ringrose (45)

12. Isa Nacewa (180) CAPTAIN

11. James Lowe (8)

10. Johnny Sexton (144)

9. Luke McGrath (91)

1. Cian Healy (184)

2. Seán Cronin (147)

3. Tadhg Furlong (78)

4. Devin Toner (211)

5. James Ryan (10)

6. Scott Fardy (17)

7. Dan Leavy (49)

8. Jordi Murphy (101)

 

16. James Tracy (58)

17. Jack McGrath (126)

18. Andrew Porter (23)

19. Rhys Ruddock (139)

20. Max Deegan (16)

21. Nick McCarthy (21)

22. Joey Carbery (31)

23. Rory O’Loughlin (37)

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