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No Frawley as Leinster and Leicester name teams for Champions Cup headliner

By Ian Cameron
Joe Carpenter of Sale tackles Ciaran Frawley of Leinster during the Investec Champions Cup match between Leinster Rugby and Sale Sharks at RDS Arena on December 16, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images for Sale Sharks)

Ciaran Frawley will miss Leinster’s Investec Champions Cup game with Leicester due to injury as Leo Cullen makes two changes to their team for this weekend’s mouthwatering encounter.


Following their victory against Stade Francais, co-captain James Ryan replaces Jason Jenkins, while Harry Byrne steps in for the injured Frawley at fly-half.

Frawley picked up a rib injury during the Stade Francis game and failed to prove his fitness in time for the trip to Welford Road. The utility back is being tipped as a potential candidate for the vacant Ireland jersey.

Jordan Larmour, on the cusp of his 99th cap, joins Hugo Keenan and James Lowe in the back three, with the former also earning a spot in Ireland’s Six Nations squad.

Investec Champions Cup
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All Stats and Data

The centre partnership of Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw remains intact, supported by Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park. The pack sees Andrew Porter, Tadhg Furlong, and Dan Sheehan in the front row, with Ryan partnering Joe McCarthy. The team is rounded out by Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier, and Caelan Doris, with Ross Molony poised for his first European game of the season among the replacements.

Meanwhile, Leister have named a powerful side to welcome the Irish giants to the midlands.  Ollie Hassell-Collins and Hanro Liebenberg return from injury to start, alongside Handré Pollard and Jasper Wiese. Round two’s standout, Archie Vanes, joins the replacements, with fellow prop and Scotland call-up Will Hurd also named on the bench. It is also Matt Scott’s first start since round one of Investec Champions Cup.

LEINSTER: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Harry Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 1 Andrew Porter, 2 Dan Sheehan, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Joe McCarthy, 5 James Ryan, 6 Ryan Baird, 7 Josh van der Flier, 8 Caelan Doris


REPLACEMENTS: 16 Rónan Kelleher, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Ala’alatoa, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Sam Prendergast, 23 Tommy O’Brien

LEICESTER TIGERS: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Harry Simmons, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Tom Whiteley, 1 James Cronin, 2 Julián Montoya (c), 3 Joe Heyes, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Ollie Chessum, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Tommy Reffell, 8 Jasper Wiese

REPLACEMENTS: 16 Archie Vanes, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Will Hurd, 19 Sam Carter, 20 Kyle Hatherell, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Jamie Shillcock, 23 Solomone Kata

Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR)


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Shaylen 14 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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