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Henshaw returns as Leinster go with JGP over Lowe for semi-final clash with Scarlets

Cullen and Lancaster have picked Scott Fardy and Jamison Gibson-Park as their two permitted ‘non-Europeans’.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

LEINSTER HAVE DECIDED to omit James Lowe from their starting line-up for tomorrow’s Champions Cup semi-final clash with Scarlets (kick-off 15.30, Sky Sports) at the Aviva Stadium.

Lowe’s inclusion depended on the fitness of Luke McGrath as coaches Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster have to juggle Australian and Kiwi options in order to comply with the rule limiting teams to two ‘non-European’ (plus many exemptions) players.

McGrath has been unable to shake off the ankle injury sustained in the quarter-final win over Saracens and his absence means Jamison Gibson-Park will partner captain Jonathan Sexton at half-back.

The other side of Sexton, Robbie Henshaw completes a swift return from a shoulder injury sustained in the act of scoring for Ireland against Italy in February.

Isa Nacewa takes up Lowe’s left wing duties, while Scott Fardy (the second man subject to the eligibility rule) again starts in the back row with Devin Toner and James Ryan in the second row.

Robbie Henshaw Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

There is another injury return among the replacements where Jack Conan has ousted Max Deegan as back row cover after recovering from a knee injury.

Nick McCarthy, Joey Carbery and Jordan Larmour represent a youthful array of back-line cover while Jack McGrath and Andrew Porter once again deputise Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong.


15. Rob Kearney
14. Fergus McFadden
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Isa Nacewa
10. Johnny Sexton (Capt.)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Cian Healy
2. Seán Cronin
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. James Ryan
6. Scott Fardy
7. Dan Leavy
8. Jordi Murphy


16. James Tracy
17. Jack McGrath
18. Andrew Porter
19. Ross Molony
20. Jack Conan
21. Nick McCarthy
22. Joey Carbery
23. Jordan Larmour


15 Rhys Patchell
14 Leigh Halfpenny
13 Scott Williams
12 Hadleigh Parkes
11 Steff Evans
10 Dan Jones
9 Gareth Davies

1 Rob Evans
2 Ken Owens (Capt)
3 Samson Lee
4 Tadhg Beirne
5 David Bulbring
6 Aaron Shingler
7 James Davies
8 John Barclay


16 Ryan Elias
17 Dylan Evans
18 Werner Kruger
19 Lewis Rawlins
20 Steve Cummins
21 Aled Davies
22 Steff Hughes
23 Will Boyde

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