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Dublin: 19 °C Sunday 12 July, 2020
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Heeeeeeeere's Johnny! Sexton named for first Leinster start of the season

Leo Cullen makes six changes as Leinster bid to end Ospreys’ perfect start.

Sexton: injured his shoulder in the Pro12 final against Connacht.
Sexton: injured his shoulder in the Pro12 final against Connacht.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

JOHNNY SEXTON WILL make his first appearance of the Pro12 season when Leinster host the table-topping Ospreys on Friday evening (7.35pm, TG4).

The out-half has been out of action since undergoing shoulder surgery in June and missed Ireland’s tour of South Africa as well as the start of the new campaign.

But he returns as one of six changes made by Leo Cullen for the clash in the RDS.

Scrum-half Luke McGrath starts alongside Sexton in the only other change to the backs while in the pack, Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong are named on either side of the front row.

Mick Kearney gets the nod in the second row alongside Devin Toner while the final change is at openside where Josh van der Flier comes in.

Rhys Ruddock is also primed to make his comeback from injury as he is named among the replacements for the first time this season.

Unbeaten Ospreys are without the injured Dan Lydiate (shoulder) and fellow Wales international Eli Walker, who has been excused to be with his partner who is due to give birth.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones is set to make his 200th appearance for the Welsh side who have run in a massive 21 tries in their first three games.

Leinster:

15. Zane Kirchner
14. Isa Nacewa (captain)
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Noel Reid
11. Dave Kearney
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Luke McGrath

1. Cian Healy
2. Sean Cronin
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. Mick Kearney
6. Jordi Murphy
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jamie Heaslip

Replacements:

16. James Tracy
17. Jack McGrath
18. Mike Ross
19. Ross Molony
20. Rhys Ruddock
21. Dan Leavy
22. Jamison Gibson-Park
23. Joey Carbery

Ospreys:

15. Sam Davies
14. Jeff Hassler
13. Ashley Beck
12. Josh Matavesi
11. Ben John
10. Dan Biggar
9. Rhys Webb

1. Paul James
2. Scott Baldwin
3. Dmitri Arhip
4. Lloyd Ashley
5. Alun Wyn Jones (captain)
6. James King
7. Justin Tipuric
8. Tyler Ardron

Replacements:

16. Sam Parry
17. Nicky Smith
18. Ma’afu Fia
19. Bradley Davies
20. Dan Baker
21. Tom Habberfield
22. Dafydd Howells
23. Dan Evans

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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