Blow for Leinster as Johnny Sexton is ruled out of Champions Cup opener

Ross Byrne starts at out-half as Isa Nacewa returns to captain the side

Leinster will have to plan without Johnny Sexton for their opening Champions Cup clash against Montpellier (Saturday, 1pm RDS).

The out-half has been ruled out through injury. Ross Byrne takes his place in the starting XV, alongside Luke McGrath in one of two changes from the team that defeated Munster in the Guinness Pro 14 last week.

Isa Nacewa returns to captain the province after missing a number of games with a calf injury.

His return sees Robbie Henshaw shift from 12 to 13 with Rory O’Loughlin the man to miss out.

Joey Carbery lines out at full back with Adam Byrne on the right wing and Barry Daly on the left for his European debut.

The pack is unchanged with Jack McGrath, James Tracy and Tadhg Furlong in the front row and Devin Toner and Scott Fardy in the second row.

Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan complete the starting XV.


Leinster XV (caps in brackets):

15. Joey Carbery (27)
14. Adam Byrne (28)
13. Robbie Henshaw (14)
12. Isa Nacewa (173) CAPTAIN
11. Barry Daly (14)
10. Ross Byrne (29)
9. Luke McGrath (79)
1. Jack McGrath (115)
2. James Tracy (47)
3. Tadhg Furlong (69)
4. Devin Toner (202)
5. Scott Fardy (4)
6. Rhys Ruddock (136)
7. Josh van der Flier (51)
8. Jack Conan (56)

BENCH

16. Seán Cronin (134)
17. Cian Healy (177)
18. Michael Bent (92)
19. Ross Molony (49)
20. Jordi Murphy (90)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (33)
22. Noel Reid (85)
23. Fergus McFadden (154)