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Sexton returns to Leinster starting XV

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Going with Ian Madigan or Jonny Sexton against Biarritz will be a big decision for Joe Schmidt, according to Ollie Campbell

Going with Ian Madigan or Jonny Sexton against Biarritz will be a big decision for Joe Schmidt, according to Ollie Campbell

Going with Ian Madigan or Jonny Sexton against Biarritz will be a big decision for Joe Schmidt, according to Ollie Campbell

Jonathan Sexton will don a Leinster jersey for the first time since January when lines up at out-half against Zebres on Sunday.

Sexton has not featured for the province since their Heineken Cup win over the Exeter Chiefs in January but returns for his 105th Leinster appearance in Italy this weekend.

The fly-half aggravated a hamstring injury in the defeat to England and then suffered a tendon injury to his foot in the run-up to the clash with Italy.

Sexton will be partnered at half-back by John Cooney who will wear the number nine shirt.

Brian O'Driscoll takes over the captain's armband for Sunday's clash and will be partnered in midfield by Andrew Goodman.

Fergus McFadden returns from injury to take his place on the right wing in a back three which features Fionn Carr and Isa Nacewa.

In the pack, Kevin McLaughlin forms an abrasive back-row unit alongside number eight Rhys Ruddock and Dominic Ryan. Tom Denton locks down alongside Devin Toner at second row, while loose-head prop Jack McGrath will make his 33rd appearance in a front row which also features Richardt Strauss and Michael Bent.

Leinster team to face Zebres: (15-9) Isa Nacewa, Fergus McFadden, Brian O'Driscoll (c), Andrew Goodman, Fionn Carr,  Jonathan Sexton, John Cooney; (1-8) Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss, Michael Bent, Tom Denton, Devin Toner, Kevin McLaughlin, Dominic Ryan, Rhys Ruddock

 

REPLACEMENTS:(16-23) Aaron Dundon, Jack O'Connell, Jamie Hagan, Quinn Roux, Leo Auva'a, Isaac Boss, Cathal Marsh, Andrew Conway.

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