Leinster claim Champions Cup top seed after completing ideal record

Lester Mason
January 20, 2018

For the first time in 15 years Leinster have won all six pool games in the European Champions Cup.

There was concern over Sexton's fitness when he was clattered in the head in the process of scoring his side's fifth try during the rout of Glasgow Warriors last weekend, but the Ireland global played on and his injury was described as a "jarred back" post-match.

Johnny Sexton is spared the trip to France, though Cullen insists the out-half is fully fit, while Luke McGrath and Jack McGrath move to the replacements bench as Leinster seek to make it six wins from six in the competition.

Leinster's Sean Cronin celebrates his try with Jamison Gibson-Park.

With Kearney promoted from the bench to start at fullback, Jordan Larmour - this week included in Joe Schmidt's Six Nations squad - shifts to the right wing while James Lowe retains his place on the opposite flank.

Leinster maintained their unbeaten record to secure a top seed quarter-final spot in the Champions Cup, following a 23-14 victory over Montpellier.

Captain Isa Nacewa and Robbie Henshaw are again selected in midfield, while a new half-back partnership of Ross Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park is given the nod. Jordan Larmour 13. Robbie Henshaw 12. Isa Nacewa (captain) 11. James Lowe 10. Ross Byrne 9.

Leinster looked on the verge of the bonus when giving away a penalty and compounding it with two more, Devin Toner eventually stealing the ball at another ominous 5-metre lineout for Montpellier.

Dan Leavy starts this weekend at blindside flanker with Josh van der Flier, who is set for his 60th Leinster cap, and number 8 Jack Conan completing the pack. Jack McGrath 18. Andrew Porter 19.

Montpellier, boosted by several quality South Africans, crumbled in the second half to crash out of the Champions Cup.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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