Team news

Van der Flier and Molony start for Leinster against Northampton

Saints captain Lewis Ludlam misses out for the visitors.

JOSH VAN DER Flier and Ross Molony have both been named in Leinster’s starting XV for tomorrow’s Champions Cup semi-final meeting with Northampton Saints at Croke Park [KO 5.30pm, RTÉ/TNT Sports].

They are the only two changes from the team that started the quarter-final win over La Rochelle.

Garry Ringrose and Hugo Keenan both miss out despite returning to full training this week.

Ringrose has been struggling with a shoulder injury while Keenan has failed to recover from a hip problem.

However Jimmy O’Brien returns to the Leinster bench and is primed to make his first appearance since December.

With Ringrose and Keenan ruled out, Ciarán Frawley starts at fullback and Jamie Osborne continues at centre in a backline which is unchanged from the defeat of La Rochelle.

Flanker Will Connors misses out in the matchday 23 despite having started the quarter-final.

Frawley starts at 15 with James Lowe and Jordan Larmour on the wings, while 22-year-old Osborne continues his midfield partnership with Robbie Henshaw.

Jamison Gibson-Park starts at scrum-half with Ross Byrne – player of the match against La Rochelle – at out-half.

The Leinster front row is also unchanged from the quarter-final, with the all-Ireland international trio of Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong set to scrum down.

Joe McCarthy starts in the second row alongside Molony, who comes into the side ahead of Jason Jenkins.

Caelan Doris captains the side from number eight, with Ryan Baird and van der Flier completing the back row.

Rónan Kelleher, Cian Healy and Michael Ala’alatoa provide front row cover on the bench. Healy is set to become the all-time appearance holder in the history of the Champions Cup, with the prop is currently on 110 appearances, alongside Ronan O’Gara.

Jenkins and Jack Conan are also on the bench, in a 5:3 split.

Luke McGrath, Harry Byrne and O’Brien are the backline replacements.

Northampton are without captain Lewis Ludlam, while Ollie Sleightholme also misses out.


15. Ciarán Frawley
14. Jordan Larmour
13. Robbie Henshaw 
12. Jamie Osborne
11. James Lowe
10. Ross Byrne
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Andrew Porter
2. Dan Sheehan
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Ross Molony
5. Joe McCarthy
6. Ryan Baird
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Caelan Doris (capt)


16. Rónan Kelleher 
17. Cian Healy
18. Michael Ala’alatoa
19. Jason Jenkins
20. Jack Conan 
21. Luke McGrath
22. Harry Byrne 
23. Jimmy O’Brien 

Northampton Saints:

15. George Furbank
14. James Ramm
13. Tommy Freeman
12. Fraser Dingwall
11. George Hendy
10. Fin Smith
9. Alex Mitchell

1. Alex Waller
2. Curtis Langdon
3. Trevor Davison
4. Alex Moon
5. Alex Coles
6. Courtney Lawes (capt)
7. Sam Graham
8. Juarno Augustus


16. Sam Matavesi
17. Emmanuel Iyogun
18. Elliot Millar Mills
19. Temo Mayanavanua
20. Angus Scott-Young
21. Tom James
22. Tom Litchfield
23. Tom Seabrook

Referee: Mathieu Reynal (Fra)

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