Sexton on bench, Ross Byrne starts for Leinster against Montpellier

Johnny Sexton returns for Leinster
Johnny Sexton returns for Leinster

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton has overcome a dead leg injury to make a return to Leinster's matchday 23 in their upcoming Heineken Champions Cup opener against Montpellier.

Sexton suffered the blow during the third-place play-off Autumn Nations Cup game against Scotland but is now named on the bench with Ross Byrne taking the fly-half role.

Jimmy O’Brien has recovered from back injury to make his European debut at fullback with Hugo Keenan and Dave Kearney at wings. Robbie Henshaw and Ciarán Frawley form mid-field partnership with Byrne joining Luke McGrath at half-back.

Rhys Ruddock will captain the side and will be part of back-row that also has Josh van der Flier and Calean Doris while Devin Toner and Scott Fardy at second row. Peter Dooley and Devin Toner are the designated props with James Tracy taking the number two jersey.

Sexton is joined by Dan Leavy, James Ryan, Rónan Kelleher, Andrew Porter, Ryan Baird, Jamison Gibson-Park and Cian Healy on the bench.

Leinster starting XV: Jimmy O’Brien; Hugo Keenan, Robbie Henshaw, Ciarán Frawley, Dave Kearney; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Peter Dooley, James Tracy, Michael Bent; Devin Toner, Scott Fardy; Rhys Ruddock (capt), Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris

Reserves: Rónan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, Ryan Baird, Jamison Gibson-Park, Johnny Sexton, Dan Leavy.


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table