Sexton and Ryan set for season debuts off the bench as Leinster gear up for derby

Garry Ringrose captains Leinster as they take on the URC leaders in Belfast.

James Ryan is named on the bench.
James Ryan is named on the bench.
Image: Ben Brady/INPHO

JOHNNY SEXTON AND James Ryan are in line for their first game of the season tomorrow after being named on the bench for Leinster’s visit to Ulster (KO: 7.35pm – live on RTÉ, BBC NI, Premier Sports).

Garry Ringrose captains the Leinster side from outside centre, with Robbie Henshaw partnering him in midfield.

Elsewhere in the backs, it’s the same back three for Leo Cullen with Jimmy O’Brien, Jordan Larmour and Dave Kearney retaining their place after last weekend’s win over Treviso.

It’s a new half back combination however, with Luke McGrath partnered this week by Ross Byrne.

ross-byrne-kicks-a-conversion Ross Byrne comes into the starting XV. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

In the pack, the same front five is selected as last week. That means Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Michael Ala’alatoa form the front row, with Ross Molony and Jason Jenkins behind them in the second row.

Ryan Baird and Josh van der Flier are again selected at blindside and openside flanker, with Jack Conan the final change to the XV, coming in for his first appearance of the new season.

On the bench, James Ryan and Johnny Sexton are also in line to play their first games of the season.

Ulster, meanwhile, have also selected a strong team with Michael Lowry, Jacob Stockdale and Aaron Sexton comprising their back three – Luke Marshall and Stuart McCloskey forming their midfield, Billy Burns and John Cooney their half-backs.

In the pack, there is still no Iain Henderson but their front row of Andy Warwick, Rob Herring and Tom O’Toole looks decent. Alan O’Connor will captain the side from the second row alongside Kieran Treadwell who impressed so much for Ireland on their tour to New Zealand.

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Matty Rea, Marcus Rea and Nick Timoney comprise their back row with Marty Moore and Sam Carter named among the replacements.

Ulster Rugby

Michael Lowry, Aaron Sexton, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, John Cooney; Andy Warwick, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor (Captain), Kieran Treadwell, Matty Rea, Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Marty Moore, Sam Carter, Greg Jones, David Shanahan, Angus Curtis, Ben Moxham.

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):
15. Jimmy O’Brien (54)
14. Jordan Larmour (75)
13. Garry Ringrose (103) CAPTAIN
12. Robbie Henshaw (69)
11. Dave Kearney (175)
10. Ross Byrne (130)
9. Luke McGrath (177)
1. Andrew Porter (92)
2. Dan Sheehan (30)
3. Michael Ala’alatoa (27)
4. Ross Molony (141)
5. Jason Jenkins (2)
6. Ryan Baird (39)
7. Josh van der Flier (115)
8. Jack Conan (117)
16. Rónan Kelleher (38)
17. Ed Byrne (87)
18. Vakhtang Abdaladze (18)
19. James Ryan (58)
20. Will Connors (27)
21. Nick McCarthy (47)
22. Johnny Sexton (184)
23. Charlie Ngatai (2)

Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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