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Sexton on the bench as Leinster make 4 changes for Gloucester

By Ian Cameron
Jonathan Sexton of Leinster during the United Rugby Championship match between Leinster and Cell C Sharks at RDS Arena in Dublin. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Head coach Leo Cullen has made four changes to the Leinster starting team for the visit of Gloucester to the RDS this weekend in the Champions Cup.


Eleven of the team who started last weekend’s bonus point win over Racing 92 are named to start, with Luke McGrath, Rónan Kelleher, Ross Molony and Jack Conan coming into the line-up.

Ireland veteran Jonny Sexton – who is returning from injury – has been named on the bench, with Ross Bryne once again taking the reins at flyhalf. Sexton is joined on the bench by exciting Ireland attacking weapon Jordan Larmour, who is also returning from injury.

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Meanwhile George Skivington has made thirteen changes to the starting XV that beat Bordeaux at Kingsholm last week, suggesting that the Cherry and Whites might be viewing the fixture as something of a foregone conclusion.

There are a number of heavy hitters in the form of Albert Tuisue and Jake Polledri, but there are also a host of less experienced.

This will be the first competitive meeting between the sides since 21 October 2006, where Leinster Rugby beat the Cherry and whites 37-20 at Lansdowne Road.

In August 2016, Leinster met Gloucester once again in a pre-season game at Tallaght Stadium. It was a tight affair, with Leinster just coming out on top 26-24.


15. Hugo Keenan
14. Jimmy O’Brien
13. Garry Ringrose (109) CAPTAIN
12. Charlie Ngatai
11. James Lowe
10. Ross Byrne
9. Luke McGrath
1. Andrew Porter
2. Rónan Kelleher
3. Michael Ala’alatoa
4. Ross Molony
5. James Ryan
6. Caelan Doris
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan

16. Dan Sheehan
17. Ed Byrne
18. Cian Healy
19. Joe McCarthy
20. Max Deegan
21. Jamison Gibson-Park
22. Johnny Sexton
23. Jordan Larmour

15. Lloyd Evans
14. Alex Hearle
13. Giorgi Kveseladze
12. Billy Twelvetrees
11. Jake Morris
10. George Barton
9. Ben Meehan (C)
1. Harry Elrington
2. Henry Walker
3. Ciaran Knight
4. Freddie Thomas
5. Arthur Clark
6. Jake Polledri
7. Jack Clement
8. Albert Tuisue

16. Seb Blake
17. Alex Seville
18. Kirill Gotovtsev
19. Alex Craig
20. Harry Taylor
21. Charlie Chapman
22. Seb Atkinson
23. Kyle Moyle


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finn 4 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

12 Go to comments
Simon 6 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

There are a few issues with the article. Despite somehow getting to a RWC semi final, England are nowhere near Probable status and should be swapped with Scotland on current form. France’s failure at RWC 23 has massively hit their mindset. Psychologically, they need a reset of gigantic proportions otherwise they will revert to, Top 14 first, international rugby an afterthought again. Ireland are allowed to play the way they are by less than acceptable officiating. Make no bones about it, with Easterby coaching, Ireland cheat, they break the rules at almost every facet of the game and generally referees, influenced by the media that Ireland are somehow playing the best rugby in the world, allow them. Scrums - Porter never pushes straight and immediately turns in. The flankers lose their binds and almost latch on to the opposition props. Rucks - they always and I mean always clear out from the side and take players out beyond the ball, effectively taking them out of being ready for the next phase. Not once do green shirts enter rucks from the rear foot. Referees should be made to look at the video of the game against Wales and see that Irish backs and forwards happily enter rucks from the side to effect a clearout, thus giving them the sub 3 second ruck speed everybody dreams about. They also stand in offside positions at rucks to ‘block’ opposing players from making clear tackles allowing the ball carrier to break the gainline almost every time. They then turn and are always ahead of play and therefore enter subsequent rucks illegally. Mauls - there is always a blocker between the ball catcher and the opposition. It is subtle but it is there. Gatland still needs to break the shackles and allow his team a bit more freedom to play rugby. He no longer has a team of 16 stone plus players who batter the gainline. He has to adapt and be more thoughtful in attack. Scotland are playing well but they have the creaky defence that leaks tries.

23 Go to comments
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