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Leinster name Sexton as captain and start Porter at loosehead for Bulls test

Dan Sheehan starts at hooker for the province as the Bulls arrive into the Aviva for the season opener.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

JOHNNY SEXTON WILL get his chance to make a point to Warren Gatland tomorrow evening after he was named as captain for Leinster’s season opener against the Currie Cup champions, the Bulls.

Leinster coach Leo Cullen has made a number of changes from the team that faced Harlequins in the Bank of Ireland Pre-Season Friendly two weeks ago and there are a number of positional changes as well.

Hugo Keenan, Rory O’Loughlin and James Lowe are the back three selected by Cullen with Keenan and O’Loughlin seeing action for the first time this season against the Bulls.

In the centre Ciarán Frawley will also get his first taste of Leinster action this season as will Garry Ringrose beside him, with both players now fully recovered from shoulder injuries.


In the half backs, Cullen has chosen the same pair as started against ‘Quins with the experienced duo of Luke McGrath and Sexton starting.

In the pack Andrew Porter has recovered from a foot injury and will start in the number one jersey for Leinster for the first time since November 2016. Dan Sheehan starts at hooker with Michael Ala’alatoa making his competitive debut at tighthead prop.

Ross Molony and James Ryan will form the second row unit when they line out tomorrow afternoon.

Finally in the back row, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris complete the starting XV for Cullen. Neither van der Flier nor Doris were involved at the Aviva two weeks ago.

On the bench, Cian Healy will wear the number 18 jersey, while Max Deegan will make his first competitive appearance for the club since October 2020 when he is introduced.

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets)

15. Hugo Keenan (30)
14. Rory O’Loughlin (87)
13. Garry Ringrose (86)
12. Ciarán Frawley (35)
11. James Lowe (52)
10. Johnny Sexton (173) CAPTAIN
9. Luke McGrath (151)
1. Andrew Porter (77)
2. Dan Sheehan (13)
3. Michael Ala’alatoa (0)
4. Ross Molony (116)
5. James Ryan (50)
6. Rhys Ruddock (188)
7. Josh van der Flier (98)
8. Caelan Doris (40)

16. James Tracy (129)
17. Ed Byrne (70)
18. Cian Healy (231)
19. Ryan Baird (27)
20. Max Deegan (65)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (101)
22. Ross Byrne (104)
23. Jamie Osborne (6)

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Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)

 


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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