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James Ryan returns as Leinster and Leicester reveal QF line-ups

By Kim Ekin
James Ryan /PA

James Ryan is set for a timely return from a spell on the sidelines as Leinster take on Leicester Tigers in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter finals this weekend.

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Ryan hasn’t featured for the province since October against Scarlets but had featured at Test level for Ireland until being forced out of the Six Nations through injury.

Ryan was concussed after being hit by England Charlie Ewels in the opening minutes of their Six Nations Round 4 game in Twickenham.

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He joins a front five that also sees Rónan Kelleher make his first appearance since picking up a shoulder knock on international duty. Andrew Porter and Tadhg Furlong will join him in the front row while Ross Molony will be alongside Ryan in the second row.

Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan will be the back row, while Johnny Sexton will captain the team from 10, partnered by Jamison Gibson-Park in the half-backs.

Meanwhile Ellis Genge will lead Leicester Tigers in the club’s first appearance in the tournament quarter-finals for six seasons. Genge, Julián Montoya and Dan Cole are the starting front row.

In the only change to the starting side from the club’s last outing, Ollie Chessum returns in the second row alongside Calum Green, while Hanro Liebenberg, Tommy Reffell and Jasper Wiese make up the starting back row.

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Ben Youngs and George Ford start as the half-backs, with Guy Porter and Matías Moroni partnered in the Leicester midfield. In the back-three, Harry Potter and Chris Ashton are the wings and Freddie Steward starts at full-back.

LEINSTER RUGBY:
15. Hugo Keenan
14. Jimmy O’Brien
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Jamison Gibson-Park
1. Andrew Porter
2. Rónan Kelleher
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Ross Molony
5. James Ryan
6. Caelan Doris
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan

REPLACEMENTS:
16. Dan Sheehan
17. Cian Healy
18. Michael Ala’alatoa
19. Joe McCarthy
20. Rhys Ruddock
21. Luke McGrath
22. Ross Byrne
23. Tommy O’Brien

LEICESTER TIGERS:
15 Freddie Steward
14 Chris Ashton
13 Matías Moroni
12 Guy Porter
11 Harry Potter
10 George Ford
9 Ben Youngs
1 Ellis Genge (c)
2 Julián Montoya
3 Dan Cole
4 Ollie Chessum
5 Calum Green
6 Hanro Liebenberg
7 Tommy Reffell
8 Jasper Wiese

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REPLACEMENTS
16 Nic Dolly
17 James Whitcombe
18 Joe Heyes
19 Harry Wells
20 George Martin
21 Richard Wigglesworth
22 Freddie Burns
23 Nemani Nadolo

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