Champions Cup: Leicester make just one change while Leinster are boosted by James Ryan return

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Steve Borthwick has made just one change to the Leicester Tigers XV for their huge Champions Cup quarter-final encounter with Leinster on Saturday.

Ellis Genge, Julián Montoya and Dan Cole are the starting front-row.

Genge will lead Leicester in the club’s first appearance in the tournament quarter-finals for six seasons.

In the only alteration to the starting side from the club’s last outing, Ollie Chessum returns in the second-row alongside Calum Green, while vice-captain Hanro Liebenberg, Tommy Reffell and Jasper Wiese make up the starting back row.

Nic Dolly, James Whitcombe and Joe Heyes are the replacement front-rowers with Harry Wells and George Martin the other forwards on the bench.

Ben Youngs and George Ford start as the half-backs, with Guy Porter and Matías Moroni partnered in the Leicester midfield.

In the back three, Harry Potter and Chris Ashton are the wings and Freddie Steward starts at full-back.

Richard Wigglesworth, Freddie Burns and Nemani Nadolo are the replacement backs.

James Ryan back for Leinster

For Leinster, there’s a very welcome return to the second-row for James Ryan. The lock hasn’t featured for the province since October against Scarlets but had featured internationally until being forced out of the Six Nations through injury.

He joins a front five that also sees Rónan Kelleher make his first appearance since picking up a shoulder knock on international duty.

Andrew Porter and Tadhg Furlong will join him in the front row while Ross Molony will be alongside Ryan at lock.

Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan will be the back row at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Johnny Sexton will captain the team from 10, partnered by Jamison Gibson-Park in the half-backs.

The back five are unchanged from the Champions Cup ties against Connacht.

Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose make up the midfield with Hugo Keenan at full-back flanked by James Lowe on the left and Jimmy O’Brien on the right.

On the bench, academy second-row Joe McCarthy is in line for his European debut should he be brought on while fly-half Ross Byrne is just a single point off 800 for Leinster.

Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy, Michael Ala’alatoa, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath and Tommy O’Brien are also among the replacements.

Prediction: Leinster by 10

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Guy Porter, 11 Harry Potter, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 5 Calum Green, 4 Ollie Chessum, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Ellis Genge (c)
Replacements: 16 Nic Dolly, 17 James Whitcombe, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Harry Wells, 20 George Martin, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Nemani Nadolo

Leinster: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Jimmy O’Brien, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (c), 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Caelan Doris, 5 James Ryan, 4 Ross Molony, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rónan Kelleher, 1 Andrew Porter
Replacements: 16 Dan Sheehan, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Ala’alatoa, 19 Joe McCarthy, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Tommy O’Brien

Date: Saturday, May 7
Venue: Mattioli Woods Welford Road
Kick-off: 17:30 BST (16:30 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini (France), Thomas Charabas (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)

READ MORE: Former Ireland boss Eddie O’Sullivan would be ‘shocked’ if Leinster fail to beat Leicester

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