Champions Cup teams: Changes for Irish provinces as Saracens leave out stars for Munster trip

The four Irish provinces have named their teams for this weekend's Champions Cup clashes.

Champions Cup teams: Changes for Irish provinces as Saracens leave out stars for Munster trip

Additional reporting by Stephen Barry.

Stephen Archer and James Cronin come into the Munster front-row for tomorrow's Champions Cup clash against holders Saracens at Thomond Park.

Archer is the only survivor from Munster's PRO14 game against Edinburgh as John Ryan is left among the replacements, while Cronin replaces the injured Jeremy Loughman.

The only other change from the draw against Racing a fortnight ago is Billy Holland coming into the second-row, with Jack O'Donoghue moving to the bench. Tadhg Beirne switches to the back-row, with captain Peter O'Mahony named at openside flanker.

Conor Murray and JJ Hanrahan are named in the half-backs with Rory Scannell and Chris Farrell renewing their centre partnership. Mike Haley, Andrew Conway, and Keith Earls make up the back three.

Nick McCarthy provides scrum-half cover following the departure of Alby Mathewson.

Saracens have left out a host of their England stars for the trip, with Owen Farrell, Mako and Billy Vunipola, Jamie George, George Kruis, and Elliot Daly all left out of the squad from their win over Bath last weekend.

Maro Itoje is among the few front-liners remaining in a side which will be led by 19-year-old Manu Vunipola at out-half.

Munster: M Haley; A Conway, C Farrell, R Scannell, K Earls; JJ Hanrahan, C Murray; J Cronin, N Scannell, S Archer; J Kleyn, B Holland; T Beirne, P O’Mahony (c), CJ Stander.

Replacements: K O’Byrne, L O'Connor, J Ryan, F Wycherley, J O’Donoghue, N McCarthy, S Arnold, A Botha.

Saracens: M Gallagher; R Segun, A Lozowski, B Barritt (c), A Lewington; M Vunipola, B Spencer; R Barrington, J Singleton, T Lamositele; W Skelton, M Itoje; N Isiekwe, B Earl, J Wray.

Replacements: K Pifeleti, R Carre, J Ibuanokpe, J Kpoku, S Reffell, T Whiteley, M Malins, N Tompkins.

Leo Cullen has made five changes from the win over Lyon as his Leinster side travel to Northampton on Saturday.

Cian Healy, Rónan Kelleher and Andrew Porter are all named in the front three, with Tadhg Furlong moving to the bench. Devin Toner is reunited with James Ryan in the second-row, with Scott Fardy dropping out.

The in-form Caelan Doris continues at Number 8, with Max Deegan missing out, and will be flanked by Rhys Ruddock and Josh van der Flier in the back-row.

Jamison Gibson-Park and captain Johnny Sexton will wear 9 and 10 respectively, as Luke McGrath drops to the bench, while Ireland pair Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose team up in the centre.

Jordan Larmour, Dave Kearney and James Lowe will be outside them in the back-three, as Dave comes in for his brother Rob.

Northampton Saints: A Tuala; T Collins, M Proctor, R Hutchinson, T Naiyaravoro; D Biggar, C Reinach; A Waller (c), M Haywood, E Painter; A Moon, A Ratuniyarawa; T Wood, J Gibson, T Harrison.

Replacements: M van Vuuren, F van Wyk, P Hill, A Coles, L Ludlam, C Tupai, J Grayson, P Francis.

Leinster: J Larmour; D Kearney, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, J Lowe; J Sexton (c), J Gibson-Park; C Healy, R Kelleher, A Porter; D Toner, J Ryan; R Ruddock, J van der Flier, C Doris.

Replacements: J Tracy, E Byrne, T Furlong, S Fardy, M Deegan, L McGrath, R Byrne, R Kearney.

Ulster will welcome Harlequins to the Kingspan Stadium on Saturday (KO: 3.15pm) with five changes to their squad.

Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring and Marty Moore are all retained in the front row while captain Iain Henderson returns to the second-row alongside Alan O'Connor.

Jordi Murphy is also back in the team alongside Sean Reidy at blindside and Marcell Coetzee at Number 8.

John Cooney and Billy Burns will start as half backs with Stuart McCloskey being joined by Luke Marshall in the centre.

Jacob Stockdale comes back into the team at full-back with Louis Ludik and Craig Gilroy on the wings.

Ulster: J Stockdale; L Ludik, L Marshall, S McCloskey, C Gilroy; B Burns, J Cooney; E O'Sullivan, R Herring, M Moore; A O'Connor, I Henderson (c); S Reidy, J Murphy, M Coetzee.

Replacements: A McBurney, A Warwick, T O'Toole, K Treadwell, M Rea, D Shanahan, B Johnston, M Faddes.

Harlequins: R Chisholm; T Ismaiel, M Campagnaro, J Lang, G Ibitoye; M Smith, D Care; J Marler, E Elia, K Sinckler; S Lewies, T Cavubati; S Kunatani, C Robshaw (c), A Dombrandt.

Replacements: J Musk, N Auterac, S Kerrod, D Lamb, T Lawday, M Landajo, F Saili, V Goneva.

Connacht have been boosted ahead of Sunday's clash with Gloucester (KO: 1pm) with the return of Jarrad Butler.

Tha captain starts at Number 8 alongside Eoghan Masterson and Colby Fainga’a in the back-row.

Joe Maksymiw starts alongside Quinn Roux in the engine room while Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney and Finlay Bealham pack down in the front-row.

Bundee Aki
Bundee Aki

Jack Carty returns to the team at out-half, alongside the in-form Caolin Blade at 9.

Bundee Aki is joined by Peter Robb in midfield while a Matt Healy injury sees John Porch move to full back.

He will be joined by Kyle Godwin and Niyi Adeolokun on the wings.

Gloucester: T Marshall; L Rees-Zammit, C Harris, M Atkinson, O Thorley; D Cipriani, J Simpson; V Rapava Ruskin, F Marais, F Balmain; G Grobler, F Mostert; R Ackermann, J Polledri, B Morgan (c).

Replacements: T Gleave, J Hohneck, J Ford-Robinson, A Craig, L Ludlow, C Braley, B Twelvetrees, M Banahan.

Connacht: J Porch; N Adeolokun, B Aki, P Robb, K Godwin; J Carty, C Blade; D Buckley, T McCartney, F Bealham; J Maksymiw, Q Roux; E Masterson, C Fainga'a, J Butler (c).

Replacements: J Murphy, M Burke, D Robertson-McCoy, U Dillane, R Copeland, S Kerins, C Fitzgerald, T Daly.

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