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Leinster name side for Munster but no sign of Sexton

By Ian Cameron
Leinster are a side to admire but they are beatable in the URC (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

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Leo Cullen has named a powerful side for Leinster’s derby game with Munster this weekend in Limerick, although Ireland talisman Johnny Sexton is not included.

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Garry Ringrose will lead the side out as captain, alongside Robbie Henshaw in the midfield, while James Lowe, Jimmy O’Brien and Hugo Keenan make up the back line.

Jamison Gibson-Park is back at halfback and will be paired with Ross Byrne.

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Ed Byrne replaces Peter Dooley in the front row, joining James Tracy and Michael Ala’alatoa, who were both injured last week against Connacht.

In the second row, Jack Dunne teams up with Devin Toner in front of a back row that includes Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, and Jack Conan for his first start of the season.

Cullen has Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, Josh Murphy, Luke McGrath, Ciarán Frawley, and Max Deegan as replacements.

“Well it’s a step up in intensity, isn’t it?” said Leinster forwards coach Robin McBryde earlier in the week. “This game gives us an opportunity to give some boys a run who are returning from the Six Nations against one of our biggest rivals, so that has the benefit of adding a bit of spice to it.”

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“Hopefully there will be a full crowd down there so it will be quite an occasion, it will be great for the spectators and good for the players as well to get that feel of being involved in front of a crowd again and being able to keep your emotions in check. That is something we will look to improve on from last week [versus Connacht].

“That is the big challenge this week, with them all coming back. We need to get on the same page, try build that cohesion,” he said. “That’s the challenge really, getting everyone pulling together. Obviously it is a very big game for us.”

LEINSTER:
15. Hugo Keenan
14. Jimmy O’Brien
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Ross Byrne
9. Jamison Gibson-Park
1. Ed Byrne
2. James Tracy
3. Michael Ala’alatoa
4. Devin Toner
5. Jack Dunne
6. Caelan Doris
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan

REPLACEMENTS:
16. Dan Sheehan
17. Cian Healy
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Ross Molony
20. Josh Murphy
21. Luke McGrath
22. Ciarán Frawley
23. Max Deegan

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