Ringrose to captain Leinster in Heineken Champions Cup opener
December 9, 2022 / Daniel Kelly
The Leinster Rugby team, proudly sponsored by Bank of Ireland, to take on Racing 92 in the opening weekend of the Heineken Champions Cup tomorrow, has been named by Leo Cullen (KO: 2pm (1pm Irish time) – live on BT Sport and Newstalk).
Garry Ringrose captains the team in Le Havre’s Stade Océane, which includes nine players who started in last season’s Heineken Champions Cup Final.
The back-three remains the same as it was in last weekend’s BKT United Rugby Championship win over Ulster Rugby. Hugo Keenan starts at full-back, with Jimmy O’Brien and James Lowe on the wings.
Ringrose is joined in the centre by Charlie Ngatai. The New Zealand international makes his European debut for the province.
Ross Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park (pictured below) form the half-back partnership for the second weekend in a row.
After his Player of the Match performance last weekend from the bench, Andrew Porter is joined in the front row by Dan Sheehan and Michael Ala’alatoa.
James Ryan and Jason Jenkins are partnered in the second row. Like Ngatai, Jenkins makes his European debut for Leinster and his first ever start in the Heineken Champions Cup.
Caelan Doris joins Ryan Baird and the reigning EPCR European Player of the Year Josh van der Flier in the back row.
On the bench, Jamie Osborne is in line to make his European debut.
Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):
15. Hugo Keenan (45)
14. Jimmy O’Brien (59)
13. Garry Ringrose (108) CAPTAIN
12. Charlie Ngatai (7)
11. James Lowe (66)
10. Ross Byrne (137)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (117)
1. Andrew Porter (97)
2. Dan Sheehan (35)
3. Michael Ala’alatoa (32)
4. James Ryan (63)
5. Jason Jenkins (8)
6. Ryan Baird (43)
7. Josh van der Flier (118)
8. Caelan Doris (59)
16. Rónan Kelleher (40)
17. Ed Byrne (91)
18. Cian Healy (253)
19. Ross Molony (148)
20. Jack Conan (121)
21. Luke McGrath (182)
22. Harry Byrne (37)
23. Jamie Osborne (23)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)