Leinster fills bench for Champions Cup final as Leo Cullen opts for 6/2 split with stars in reserve

As reported by the Irish Independent today, Leo Cullen has opted for a 6/2 split on the bench, with co-captain James Ryan having to settle for a place as one of the front six among the replacements.

Connors will return to the back row in place of Josh van der Flier, while Jason Jenkins overtakes Ryan and Ross Molony, who miss out completely.

Hugo Keenan starts at full-back, while James Lowe and Jordan Larmour maintain their places on the wing, the latter having faced stiff competition from Jimmy O’Brien, who, like Molony, is unlucky to miss the team of the day of the match. .

Leinster team to be chosen for Champions Cup final

O’Brien was in the Leinster captain’s race this morning, as was Ryan’s fellow co-captain Garry Ringrose, but neither of Ireland’s backs will feature in London tomorrow.

Ringrose’s absence means Jamie Osborne continues in midfield alongside Robbie Henshaw, with Jamison Gibson-Park and Ross Byrne renewing their running back partnership.

The well-known Irish front row of Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong are in situ, while Jenkins joins Joe McCarthy in the second row.

Ryan Baird and Caelan Doris, who remains captain, are in the back row with Connors.

Cullen has a strong bench to fall back on, with the front six including Rónan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Michael Ala’alatoa, Ryan, Jack Conan and Van der Flier, while scrum-half Luke McGrath and versatile Ciarán Frawley will provide cover on the bottom line.

Meanwhile, Toulouse have opted to keep French full-back Thomas Ramos on the bench, while Scotsman Blair Kinghorn has been given the nod.

Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack start, while Josh, the son of former Ireland international and Toulouse legend Trevor Brennan, earns a place among the replacements.

Leinster: H Keenan; Larmour J, Henshaw R, Osborne J, Lowe J; R Byrne, J Gibson-Park; A Porter, D Sheehan, T Furlong; J McCarthy, J Jenkins; R Baird, W Connors, C Doris (captain).

Representatives: R Kelleher, C Healy, M Ala’alatoa, J Ryan, J Conan, L McGrath, C Frawley, J van der Flier.

Toulouse – B Kinghorn; JC Mallia, P Costes, P Ahki, M Lebel; R Ntamack, A Dupont (captain); Baille C, Mauvaka P, Aldegheri D; Flament T, Meafou E; Willis J, Cros F, Roumat A.

Representatives: J Marchand, R Neti, J Merkler, R Arnold, J Brennan, P Graou, S Chocobares, T Ramos.

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