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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.

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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.

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LEINSTER TEAM:
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

REPLACEMENTS:
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

GLOUCESTER TEAM:
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

REPLACEMENTS:
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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