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Lowe and Larmour set for first European starts as Cullen names Leinster team for Glasgow

Isa Nacewa also returns from injury to captain Leinster in their round five clash at the RDS.

Lowe has impressed so far, scoring two tries in three Pro14 appearances.
Lowe has impressed so far, scoring two tries in three Pro14 appearances.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

JAMES LOWE WILL make his Champions Cup debut against Glasgow Warriors on Sunday [KO 1pm, Sky Sports], while Jordan Larmour’s form has been rewarded with a first European start at fullback.

Leo Cullen has this afternoon named his team to face the Scottish side in this weekend’s round five clash at the RDS, with the Leinster head coach making six changes in total.

While Lowe and Larmour retain their places in the back three, Isa Nacewa returns from injury to captain the eastern province and Johnny Sexton and Luke McGrath resume their half-back partnership.

There is also good news in the front row where Tadhg Furlong has shaken off an elbow problem to start alongside Jack McGrath, who is preferred to Cian Healy on his return from suspension, and Sean Cronin.

Cullen’s decision to stick with Larmour ahead of Rob Kearney is again testament to how highly the academy fullback is rated and underlines the impact he has made during his debut season at senior level.

The former St Andrew’s College student came off the bench in both of the back-to-back games against Exeter Chiefs, but a starting berth on Sunday is a real show of faith from Cullen and Stuart Lancaster.

Lowe, meanwhile, will make his European bow for the province having impressed since arriving from New Zealand before Christmas. He was registered in the Champions Cup squad before the round four game against the Chiefs but wasn’t involved at the Aviva Stadium.

Garry Ringrose’s loss through injury is offset somewhat by the return to fitness of Nacewa, who slots in beside Robbie Henshaw in midfield for what will be his first appearance since the 22-17 win over Exeter last month.

Isa Nacewa Isa is back. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Devin Toner and Scott Fardy are ever-presents in the second row, while Josh van der Flier returns to the side after being given last week off to partner Jordi Murphy and Jack Conan in the back row.

Kearney has to settle for a bench alongside Healy, Ross Byrne, Dan Leavy and the fit-again James Ryan. Bryan Byrne is also in line for a European debut if he is called upon.

Having won all four outings to date, Leinster are in pole position in Pool 3 and a seventh straight win in both the Pro14 and Champions Cup would be a major step towards the quarter-finals.

Leinster:

15. Jordan Larmour
14. Fergus McFadden
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Isa Nacewa (captain)
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Luke McGrath

1. Jack McGrath
2. Seán Cronin
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. Scott Fardy
6. Jordi Murphy
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan

Replacements:

16. Bryan Byrne
17. Cian Healy
18. Andrew Porter
19. James Ryan
20. Dan Leavy
21. Nick McCarthy
22. Ross Byrne
23. Rob Kearney

Glasgow Warriors

15. Ruaridh Jackson
14. Lee Jones
13. Huw Jones
12. Nick Grigg
11. Niko Matawalu
10. Peter Horne
9. Ali Price

1. Jamie Bhatti
2. George Turner
3. Siosiua Halanukonuka
4. Robert Harley
5. Greg Peterson
6. Matt Fagerson
7. Matt Smith
8. Adam Ashe

Replacements:

16. Grant Stewart
17. Alex Allan
18. D’Arcy Rae
19. Kiran McDonald
20. Chris Fusaro
21. George Horne
22. Brandon Thomson
23. Henry Pyrgos

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

RDS seating issue rectified ahead of Leinster’s Champions Cup game this weekend

Tireless Van der Flier not resting on his laurels as he works to become the complete seven

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