Leinster’s Ross Byrne to make first European start against Northampton

With both Johnny Sexton and Joey Carbery out of this weekend’s Champions Cup encounter, UCD out half Ross Byrne will make his first start in Europe having impressed off the bench last week in Northampton.

Injury has also forced a change at fullback, where South African international Zane Kirchner starts in place of Rob Kearney.

Otherwise head coach Leo Cullan has named the same starting XV that accounted for Saints in Franklin’s Gardens last Friday with Adam Byrne and captain Isa Nacewa the other two in the Leinster back three along with Kirchner.

Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw continue in the centre with Luke McGrath and Byrne in the half backs.

The experienced international trio of Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin and last week’s Heineken Man of the Match Tadhg Furlong continue in the front row.

Devin Toner who made his 50th European appearance last week continues in the second row with former Maori All Black Hayden Triggs beside him in the number five jersey.

Finally in the back row, Sean O’Brien, Josh van der Flier and Jamie Heaslip complete the starting XV for Leinster.

Leinster caps in brackets: 15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Adam Byrne, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Robbie Henshaw, 11. Isa Nacewa - capt., 10. Ross Byrne, 9. Luke McGrath, 1. Jack McGrath, 2. Sean Cronin, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Devin Toner, 5. Hayden Triggs, 6. Sean O’Brien, 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: 16. James Tracy, 17. Cian Healy, 18. Michael Bent, 19. Rhys Ruddock, 20. Jack Conan, 21. Jamison Gibson-Park, 22. Noel Reid, 23. Rory O’Loughlin.

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