Cullen Names 23 to Face Northampton
December 18, 2020 / Marcus Ó Buachalla
The Leinster Rugby team, as sponsored by Bank of Ireland, to face Northampton Saints in Round 2 of the Heineken Champions Cup tomorrow in the RDS Arena has been named by Head Coach Leo Cullen (KO 1.00pm – live on Virgin Media, BT Sport, Channel 4 & RTÉ Radio).
It’s the same back three again this weekend with try scorers from last week Jimmy O’Brien and Dave Kearney selected at full back and on the left wing respectively and Hugo Keenan also retained on the right.
Robbie Henshaw is again selected in the centre but moves to the number 12 jersey with Garry Ringrose back from a jaw injury to take his place at outside centre.
It’s a new half back pairing this week with Jamison Gibson-Park starting at scrumhalf and Harry Byrne starting a Champions Cup game for the first time having made his debut off the bench last weekend.
It’s also a new front row combination with Irish internationals Cian Healy, Rónan Kelleher and Andrew Porter starting having come off the bench in France.
Ryan Baird starts a European game for the first time in the RDS Arena tomorrow and is joined by James Ryan in the second row.
Finally it’s the same back row as started in the Round 1 win with Rhys Ruddock captaining the side from blindside after his Heineken Star of the Match performance against Montpellier, Josh van der Flier at openside and finally Caelan Doris at number eight.
On the bench Ross Molony and Josh Murphy are involved in a European match day squad for the first time this season.
Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):
15. Jimmy O’Brien (25)
14. Hugo Keenan (21)
13. Garry Ringrose (78)
12. Robbie Henshaw (50)
11. Dave Kearney (155)
10. Harry Byrne (17)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (96)
1. Cian Healy (223)
2. Rónan Kelleher (17)
3. Andrew Porter (68)
4. Ryan Baird (15)
5. James Ryan (42)
6. Rhys Ruddock (181) CAPTAIN
7. Josh van der Flier (86)
8. Caelan Doris (35)
16. James Tracy (117)
17. Peter Dooley (82)
18. Michael Bent (148)
19. Ross Molony (102)
20. Josh Murphy (38)
21. Luke McGrath (135)
22. Ross Byrne (92)
23. Dan Leavy (69)
Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)