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Dublin: 2 °C Monday 19 March, 2018

Leinster launch cup defence without injured Healy

Joe Schmidt has made three changes for tomorrow’s Heineken Cup opener against Montpellier.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

CIAN HEALY WILL sit out tomorrow’s trip to France as Leinster begin their quest for back-to-back Heineken Cups against Montpellier.

Healy pulled up with a muscle twinge in training earlier this week and, although he would have been fit enough to start tomorrow’s game, Joe Schmidt has opted to err on the side of caution.

In his place, Heinke van der Merwe has been given the nod at loosehead alongside Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross in the front row.

The Springbok’s inclusion is one of three changes made to the team which scored victory over Munster in last Friday’s Pro12 clash.

Damian Browne replaces Devin Toner in the second row while Kevin McLaughlin comes in at blindside, shifting Sean O’Brien to the other side of the scrum and Shane Jennings to the bench.

But it’s as you were in the backs as Isaac Boss fends off a returning Eoin Reddan to start at scrum-half.

Leinster: Kearney; Nacewa, McFadden, D’Arcy, Fitzgerald; Sexton, Boss; van der Merwe, Strauss, Ross; Cullen, Browne; McLaughlin, O’Brien, Heaslip. Replacements: Cronin, McGrath, White, Toner, Jennings, Reddan, Madigan, O’Malley.

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