Leinster will be without Ireland fly half Johnny Sexton for their Heineken Champions Cup game with Ulster because of injury.


Ross Byrne starts at 10, while Jordan Larmour starts at full back with Adam Byrne and Dave Kearney on the wings.

Rory O’Loughlin and Garry Ringrose are the centre partnership with Luke McGrath and Ross Byrne named in the half backs.

In the pack Cian Healy, Seán Cronin and Tadhg Furlong are selected in the front row with Scott Fardy and James Ryan behind them in the second row.

Rhys Ruddock captains the side from blindside flanker, with Seán O’Brien on the openside and Jack Conan completing the pack at the base of the scrum.

On the bench Mick Kearney is in line to play his 50th game for the province for what might be his first game in the Champions Cup this season.

Andrew Porter is also in line to win his 50th cap from the bench.


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There was better news on the injury front for Ulster with Iain Henderson recovering in time to partner Kieran Treadwell in the second row.

Luke Marshall has been included in the match day panel for the first time this season, after overcoming an ACL injury sustained against Ospreys in May last year.

Marshall is joined among the replacements by Sean Reidy, who is set to make his 100th Ulster appearance.


Rory Best will captain the province in what will be his 75th European game and he will pack down alongside Eric O’Sullivan and Marty Moore in the front row.

Jordi Murphy will play against his former club for the first time since his move to Ulster last summer; he’s selected in a back row that also includes Marcell Coetzee and Nick Timoney.

John Cooney and Billy Burns will continue their half-back partnership that has been so pivotal in Europe this season, with the latter having made five try assists.

Stuart McCloskey and Darren Cave are again paired in midfield, while Jacob Stockdale, the competition’s joint top try scorer (six), is joined in the back three by Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy players Michael Lowry and Robert Baloucoune.

Rob Herring, Andy Warwick, Wiehahn Herbst, Alan O’Connor, Dave Shanahan and Angus Kernohan will join Marshall and Reidy on the bench.

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Jordan Larmour (33)
14. Adam Byrne (50)
13. Garry Ringrose (60)
12. Rory O’Loughlin (58)
11. Dave Kearney (132)
10. Ross Byrne (65)
9. Luke McGrath (107)
1. Cian Healy (202)
2. Seán Cronin (167)
3. Tadhg Furlong (96)
4. Scott Fardy (38)
5. James Ryan (26)
6. Rhys Ruddock (157) CAPTAIN
7. Seán O’Brien (122)
8. Jack Conan (84)

16. James Tracy (87)
17. Ed Byrne (39)
18. Andrew Porter (49)
19. Mick Kearney (49)
20. Dan Leavy (62)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (68)
22. Noel Reid (118)
23. Rob Kearney (205)

Ulster team to face Leinster:
(15-9) M Lowry; R Baloucoune, D Cave, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; B Burns, J Cooney;
(1-8): E O’Sullivan, R Best (captain), M Moore, I Henderson, K Treadwell, N Timoney, J Murphy, M Coetzee;
Replacements (16-23): R Herring, A Warwick, W Herbst, A O’Connor, S Reidy, D Shanahan, L Marshall, A Kernohan.

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