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Dublin: -1°C Monday 1 March 2021

Leinster deploy both Leavy and JVDF as they open Champions Cup defence against Wasps

Leo Cullen’s had close to a full-strength squad to choose from for the RDS curtain-raiser.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

JOHNNY SEXTON RETURNS to the Leinster number 10 shirt for tomorrow’s Heineken Champions Cup curtain-raiser against Wasps at the RDS (kick-off 19.45, BT Sport). 

Sexton sat out last weekend’s inter-pro win over Munster after captaining his side to three straight wins, including an impressive and controlled victory away to Connacht.

Also returning for the clash against Dai Young’s side are Tadhg Furlong, Garry Ringrose and Jordan Larmour, while Sean Cronin, Cian Healy and Luke McGrath are bumped off the bench and into the starting XV.

The highly-competitive back row has seen Sean O’Brien drop to the bench alongside Scott Fardy. Jack Conan is named to start at number eight with specialist opensides Josh van der Flier and Dan Leavy each earning a starting berth.

Nick McCarthy is named among the replacements meaning James Lowe takes up the second ‘non-European’ space with Fardy.

James Lowe and Rob Kearney Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Jamison Gibson-Park misses out on the 23, which is completed by Joe Tomane.

Wasps meanwhile, have been boosted by players returning from injury, though number eight Nathan Hughes is suspended and Joe Launchbury remains sidelined.

All Black out-half Lima Sopopage is back fit after a neck spasm and fellow Kiwi Brad Shields returns after a cheekbone issue.

Fullback Willie Le Roux is another back in the fold after international duty – and a failed HIA- with South Africa.


15. Rob Kearney
14. Jordan Larmour
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Jonathan Sexton (Captain)
9. Luke McGrath

1. Cian Healy
2. Sean Cronin
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. James Ryan
6. Dan Leavy
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan


16. James Tracy
17. Jack McGrath
18. Andrew Porter
19. Scott Fardy
20. Sean O’Brien
21. Nick McCarthy
22. Ross Byrne
23. Joe Tomane


15. Willie Le Roux
14. Josh Bassett
13. Juan de Jongh
12. Michael Le Bourgeois
11. Elliot Daly (Captain)
10. Lima Sopoaga
9. Joe Simpson

1. Zurabi Zhvania
2. Tommy Taylor
3. Kieran Brookes
4. Will Rowlands
5. James Gaskell
6. Brad Shields
7. Thomas Young
8. Nizaam Carr


16. Tom Cruse
17. Ben Harris
18. Will Stuart
19. Kearnan Myall
20. Ashley Johnson
21. Craig Hampson
22. Billy Searle
23. Rob Miller

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Sean Farrell

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