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Sexton rested as Cullen makes six changes for Leinster's trip to Montpellier

Joey Carbery could make his return from injury after being named on the bench.

Sexton has been given the weekend off.
Sexton has been given the weekend off.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

LEO CULLEN SAYS Johnny Sexton was fit and available for Leinster’s Champions Cup clash with Montpellier but the out-half has been rested for Saturday’s trip to the south of France.

There was concern over Sexton’s fitness when he was clattered in the head in the process of scoring his side’s fifth try during the rout of Glasgow Warriors last weekend, but the Ireland international played on and his injury was described as a ‘jarred back’ post-match.

With two weeks until Ireland’s Six Nations opener against France, Sexton has been given the weekend off as Cullen makes six changes in personnel for Leinster’s round six fixture at the Altrad Stadium [KO 1pm, Sky Sports].

Ross Byrne replaces Sexton at out-half and is joined by Jamison Gibson-Park in the half backs, while Rob Kearney, Cian Healy, James Ryan and Dan Leavy all come into the starting XV.

There is also a welcome return for Joey Carbery who is named on the bench having recovered from the fractured wrist which has kept him sidelined since Ireland’s November Test win over Fiji.

With Kearney promoted from the bench to start at fullback, Jordan Larmour — this week included in Joe Schmidt’s Six Nations squad — shifts to the right wing while James Lowe retains his place on the opposite flank.

Isa Nacewa Nacewa captains Leinster. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Isa Nacewa and Robbie Henshaw continue their midfield partnership after an impressive shift last Sunday against Glasgow, while Healy replaces Jack McGrath in the front row, Ryan is in for Scott Fardy and Leavy takes the place of Jordi Murphy.

With five wins from five in Pool 3, Leinster have already secured a home quarter-final and need just a point tomorrow afternoon to progress through as top seeds.

Leinster:

15. Rob Kearney
14. Jordan Larmour
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Isa Nacewa (captain)
11. James Lowe
10. Ross Byrne
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Cian Healy
2. Seán Cronin
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. James Ryan
6. Dan Leavy
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan

Replacements:

16. Bryan Byrne
17. Jack McGrath
18. Andrew Porter
19. Ross Molony
20. Jordi Murphy
21. Luke McGrath
22. Joey Carbery
23. Fergus McFadden

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