Leinster vs Toulouse: Unchanged Leinster XV as injured Tommy O’Brien drops out of 23

Heineken Champions Cup semi-final: Leinster vs Toulouse, Saturday 3pm, Aviva Stadium (live on BT Sport)

Leinster have named an unchanged starting XV from the side that beat Leicester ahead of Saturday’s Champions Cup semi-final at home to Toulouse.

The one change that is made to the matchday 23 comes on the bench as Ciaran Frawley replaces Tommy O’Brien, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury suffered during training. This leaves Leinster with Luke McGrath, Ross Byrne and Frawley as back cover with no backthree specialist on the bench.

After impressing last weekend, particularly at the lineout, James Ryan has come through the knock he picked up to start once again alongside Ross Molony in the secondrow. The Ireland frontrow of Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher and Tadhg Furlong remains intact as does the backrow of Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan.

Last week’s player of the match Jamison Gibson-Park partners Johnny Sexton once again in the halfbacks, while Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw resume their centre pairing.

Hugo Keenan, James Lowe and Jimmy O’Brien – making his 50th appearance for the province – round out the backthree.

Visitors Toulouse have made two changes to the side that snuck past Munster on penalties. France international Anthony Jelonch comes into the backrow in place of Thibaud Flament while on the wing, the injured Dimitri Delibes is replaced by Argentinian Juan Cruz Mallia.

The frontrow of Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand and Dorian Aldegheri that caused Munster problems at scrum time returns, as does Rory Arnold one week on from his controversial tackle on Simon Zebo.

Australian utillity back Zack Holmes has returned from injury to take a spot on the bench.

Leinster: Keenan; O’Brien, Ringrose, Henshaw, Lowe; Sexton, Gibson-Park; Porter, Kelleher, Furlong, Molony, Ryan; Doris, van der Flier, Conan.

Replacements: Healy, Sheehan, Ala’alatoa, McCarthy, Ruddock, McGrath, Byrne, Frawley.

Toulouse: Ramos; Mallia, Fouyssac, Ahki, Lebel; Ntamack, Dupont; Baille, Marchand, Aldegheri; Arnold, Meafou; Elstadt, Cros, Jelonch.

Replacements: Mauvaka, Neti, Ainu’u, Tekori, Tolofua, Flament, Page Relo, Holmes.


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