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Furlong fit to start as Leinster make two changes for Bulls clash

Leo Cullen has named his team for tomorrow’s United Rugby Championship semi-final at the RDS.

Jack Conan and Robbie Henshaw.
Jack Conan and Robbie Henshaw.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

TADHG FURLONG HAS been passed fit to start Leinster’s United Rugby Championship semi-final meeting with the Bulls at the RDS tomorrow [KO 7.35pm, TG4/Premier Sports 2].

Leinster booked their place in tomorrow’s semi-final with a 76-14 thrashing of Glasgow Warriors last weekend, while the Bulls beat the Sharks 30-27 thanks to a late Chris Smith drop-goal.

Furlong was removed during the second half of the Glasgow game with a back injury but keeps his place in the starting XV to take on the Bulls.

With Furlong good to go, head coach Leo Cullen has made just two changes to his starting team as Robbie Henshaw and Jack Conan both come into the side.

In a further boost, Johnny Sexton is named on the bench after recovering from an ankle issue which kept him out of last Saturday’s quarter-final.

Jimmy O’Brien starts at full-back with the in-form Jordan Larmour and Rory O’Loughlin lining out on the wings.

Henshaw returns to partner Garry Ringrose in midfield, as Ross Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park continue in the half-backs.

Furlong lines out alongside Andrew Porter and Dan Sheehan in an unchanged front row, while Joe McCarthy again partners captain James Ryan in the second row.

In the back row, Conan comes in at number eight as Caelan Doris shifts to blindside flanker, while Josh van der Flier starts again at openside.

Ciarán Frawley and Ryan Baird both drop to the bench, where they are joined by Ireland captain Sexton. 

The Bulls have named an unchanged side from their quarter-final win over the Sharks, and are captained by former Ulster man Marcel Coetzee.

Leinster

15. Jimmy O’Brien

14. Jordan Larmour

13. Garry Ringrose 

12. Robbie Henshaw

11. Rory O’Loughlin 

10. Ross Byrne 

9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Andrew Porter 

2. Dan Sheehan 

3. Tadhg Furlong

4. Joe McCarthy

5. James Ryan (captain)

6. Caelan Doris

7. Josh van der Flier 

8. Jack Conan 

Replacements:

16. Seán Cronin 

17. Cian Healy 

18. Michael Ala’alatoa 

19. Ross Molony 

20. Ryan Baird

21. Luke McGrath

22. Johnny Sexton

23. Ciarán Frawley 

Bulls

15. Canan Moodie

14. David Kriel 

13. Cornal Hendricks

12.  Harold Vorster 

11. Madosh Tambwe

10. Chris Smith

9. Zak Burger

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1. Gerhard Steenekamp 

2. Johan Grobbelaar

3. Mornay Smith 

4. Walt Steenkamp 

5. Ruan Nortje 

6. Marcell Coetzee (captain)

7. Arno Botha

8. Elrigh Louw

Replacements:

16. Bismarck du Plessis 

17. Simphiwe Matanzima

18. Robert Hunt

19. Janko Swanepoel 

20. WJ Steenkamp

21. Embrose Papier

22. Morne Steyn

23. Kurt-Lee Arendse 

Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR)

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About the author:

Ciarán Kennedy

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