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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 2 March 2021

Sexton, Ryan on bench as Ross Byrne starts Leinster's Champions Cup opener

Byrne, Robbie Henshaw and Caelan Doris are among the men who jump straight from Ireland duty to the starting Leinster XV.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

LEINSTER WILL GO to Montpellier for tomorrow’s Heineken Champions Cup opener  (kick-off 17.30, BT Sport) with Jonathan Sexton and James Ryan among their replacements.

Rhys Ruddock captains the side while Ross Byrne slips into the starting 10 shirt, displacing his brother Harry.

The elder Byrne brother is one of five players who will go straight from Ireland camp to the Leinster starting XV, with Cian Healy and Andrew Porter among the six others on Leo Cullen’s bench after their exertions in the international arena.

Ryan Baird and Dan Leavy are also among a replacements bench with a 6-2 split.

Byrne will operate inside versatile playmaker Ciaran Frawley in Montpellier, with Robbie Henshaw at outside centre while Dave Kearney, Hugo Keenan and Jimmy O’Brien make up the back three.

With four of their first-choice tight five on the bench, Peter Dooley starts at loosehead prop alongside James Tracy and Michael Bent. Scott Fardy and Devin Toner pair up in an experienced second row.

Leinster (v Montpellier)

15. Jimmy O’Brien
14. Hugo Keenan
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Ciarán Frawley
11. Dave Kearney
10. Ross Byrne
9. Luke McGrath

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1. Peter Dooley
2. James Tracy
3. Michael Bent
4. Devin Toner
5. Scott Fardy
6. Rhys Ruddock Capt
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Caelan Doris


16. Rónan Kelleher
17. Cian Healy
18. Andrew Porter
19. James Ryan
20. Ryan Baird
21. Jamison Gibson-Park
22. Johnny Sexton
23. Dan Leavy

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Sean Farrell

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