Leinster team for Champions Cup opener v Wasps
October 17, 2014 12:00 am Richard Blake
Leinster’s first match in the new Champions Cup takes place this Sunday at 5.15pm in the RDS against Wasps, and Matt O’Connor has named his 23-man squad for the game.
There are five changes to the front eight that started in last weekend’s win over Zebre in the Guinness PRO12. Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip starts in the back row and will be flanked by Rhys Ruddock and Dominic Ryan. Ryan returns after being rested against Zebre and will make his sixth start of the season.
Devin Toner comes in to start in the second row alongside Mike McCarthy in place of Kane Douglas who takes a spot among the replacements.
Sean Cronin starts in the front row in place of Richardt Strauss and Michael Bent comes in for Marty Moore. It was confirmed earlier this week that Moore with be out for 12 weeks with a shoulder injury sustained in the match against Zebre. Jack McGrath starts at loosehead.
Mike Ross was unavailable for selection after picking up a minor groin injury during the week. With front row resources stretched, management felt it prudent not to risk him for this weekend.
At full-back Ian Madigan starts in place of Rob Kearney. Kearney picked up a knock in the first half of the win over Cardiff Blues in the RDS and has had issues since, including back spasms in the warm-up before the Munster match in the Aviva stadium. Despite coming through the 80 minutes last weekend against Zebre, the issue flared up again during the week and he is unavailable for selection. Zane Kirchner and Darragh Fanning are retained in the back three from the Zebre game.
Leinster’s midfield partnership also remains the same, with Noel Reid and Gordon D’Arcy starting at 12 and 13 respectively. Eoin Reddan and Jimmy Gopperth make up Leinster’s half-back pairing.
On the bench there is a return for Luke Fitzgerald who could feature for Leinster for the first time since playing the full 80 minutes in last season’s win against Munster in the Aviva.
Tickets are still available for Leinster v Wasps. Click here to purchase your tickets from Ticketmaster.
Tickets can also be purchased from the RDS box office from 1pm on Sunday afternoon.
Leinster v Wasps – European Rugby Champions Cup – Sunday 19 October, RDS, KO 5.15pm
15. Ian Madigan
14. Zane Kirchner
13. Gordon D’Arcy
12. Noel Reid
11. Darragh Fanning
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Eoin Reddan
1. Jack McGrath
2. Sean Cronin
3. Michael Bent
4. Devin Toner
5. Mike McCarthy
6. Rhys Ruddock
7. Dominic Ryan
8. Jamie Heaslip CAPTAIN
16. Richardt Strauss
17. Ed Byrne
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Kane Douglas
20. Jack Conan
21. Isaac Boss
22. Mick McGrath
23. Luke Fitzgerald