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Published: 12:50 | 17/5/19

Sexton on bench as Carbery returns


Johnny Sexton starts on the bench for Leinster as Munster welcome back Joey Carbery for the Guinness PRO14 semi-final at the RDS on Saturday.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has made four changes to his starting XV from the one that started the Heineken Champions Cup defeat to Saracens with Sexton named among the replacements along with Scott Fardy.

There is no place in the matchday 23 for Rob Kearney and Sean O'Brien, who is due to leave the province at the end of the season.

Jordan Larmour moves to full-back as Dave Kearney comes into start on the wings with James Lowe named on the opposite flank. Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw are named in the centre, while Ross Byrne starts ahead of Sexton alongside Luke McGrath in the half-back line.

Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong make up the front row, with Devin Toner locking down behind James Ryan in the engine room.

Rhys Ruddock captains the side with Josh van der Flier making his return from injury to start in place of O'Brien. Jack Conan gets the nod at number 8.

Munster, meanwhile, have been boosted by the return of Carbery and Keith Earls for the trip to Dublin.

Both players have not featured since the province's Champions Cup quarter-final win over Edinburgh but they have come through training unscathed to take their place in the back line.

Earls starts on the wing in a back three that also includes Mike Haley and Andrew Conway as Chris Farrell and Rory Scannell continue in midfield.

Carbery returns to join Conor Murray at half-back.

 Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and John Ryan make up the front row, while Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne are retained in the second row.

There is a surprise in the back row with CJ Stander moving to openside flanker to make room for Arno Botha. Peter O'Mahony captains the team from number 8.

Leinster (XV v Munster): J Larmour; D Kearney, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, J Lowe; R Byrne, L McGrath; C Healy, S Cronin, T Furlong, D Toner, J Ryan, R Ruddock, J van der Flier, J Conan.

Replacements: J Tracy, E Byrne, A Porter, S Fardy, M Deegan, N McCarthy, J Sexton, R O'Loughlin.

Munster (XV v Leinster): M Haley; A Conway, C Farrell, R Scannell, K Earls; J Carbery, C Murray;   Kilcoyne, N Scannell, J Ryan, J Kleyn, T Beirne, P O'Mahony, CJ Stander, A Botha.

Replacements: K O'Byrne, L O'Connor, S Archer, B Holland, J O'Donoghue, A Mathewson, JJ Hanrahan, D Goggins.

Leinster and Munster meet in the Guinness PRO14 semi-final on Saturday, 18 May live on eir sport 1 [kick-off 2.30pm]. Subscribe here

Image: Inpho Photography

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