United Rugby Championship: Ireland trio return for Leinster, Bulls name unchanged starting line-up

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·3-min read
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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has brought two Ireland internationals back into his starting XV to face the Bulls in the United Rugby Championship semi-finals, while Johnny Sexton is on the bench.

In the backs, Robbie Henshaw is in at 12 alongside Garry Ringrose while the back three of Rory O’Loughlin, Jordan Larmour and Jimmy O’Brien is unchanged.

Ross Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park maintain their spots in the half-backs after last week’s 76-14 win over Glasgow Warriors.

In the pack, there’s both one personnel and one positional change.

Jack Conan comes back in at number eight with Caelan Doris shifting to the blindside and Josh van der Flier completes the back-row.

It’s ‘as you were’ elsewhere in the pack with Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong across the front-row while captain James Ryan and academy lock Joe McCarthy are in the second-row.

Ryan Baird and Ciarán Frawley go to the Leinster replacements bench where they are joined by Seán Cronin, Cian Healy, Michael Ala’alatoa, Ross Molony, Luke McGrath and Sexton.

Bulls select unchanged XV

Meanwhile, the Bulls are unchanged from their 30-27 United Rugby Championship quarter-final victory over the Sharks last weekend.

Hero of that encounter, Chris Smith, retains his place at fly-half and is joined at half-back by Zak Burger.

Elrigh Louw, Arno Botha and Marcell Coetzee form a powerful back-row and will no doubt test the Leinster side.

All of the Bulls’ alterations come on the bench, with outstanding former Springbok Bismarck du Plessis among the replacements, alongside Simphiwe Matanzima, WJ Steenkamp and the fit-again Kurt-Lee Arendse.

Loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka, who pulled out late on ahead of the last-eight contest due to a family bereavement, remains out of contention.

The teams:

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

Bulls: 15 Canan Moodie, 14 David Kriel, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marcell Coetzee (c), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Robert Hunt, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 WJ Steenkamp, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Kurt-Lee Arendse

Date: Friday, June 10
Venue: RDS Arena
Kick-off: 19:35 BST (18:35 GMT)
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Craig Evans (Wales), Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
TMO: Matteo Lipperini (Italy)

READ MORE: Jordan Larmour only focused on Leinster despite upcoming All Blacks series

The article United Rugby Championship: Ireland trio return for Leinster, Bulls name unchanged starting line-up appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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