Johnny Sexton returns to Leinster's starting XV for Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final against Saracens, while Seán Cronin has been recalled to the front row ahead of Rónan Kelleher.

Sexton had been rested for last Saturday's Guinness Pro14 final win over Ulster, making a late cameo as Ross Byrne featured.

But Leo Cullen has restored Sexton to his starting side for the visit of Saracens in a half back partnership with Luke McGrath.

Will Connors has been added to the back row to make his European debut with Josh van der Flier dropping to the bench, while Jack Conan and Caelan Doris retain their places.

Jordan Larmour starts at 15, with Hugo Keenan, another European debutant, and James Lowe on the wings. Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw form the midfield pairing, while the pack sees James Ryan alongside Devin Toner in the second row behind props Cian Healy and Andrew Porter and Cronin winning his place at hooker ahead of Kelleher.

Leinster team: Jordan Larmour, Hugo Keenan, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (c), Luke McGrath; Cian Healy; Seán Cronin, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, James Ryan, Caelan Doris, Will Connors, Jack Conan

Replacements: Rónan Kelleher, Ed Byrne, Michael Bent, Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Rory O'Loughlin.

Alex Goode of Saracens

Meanwhile, Saracens who are missing England international out-half Owen Farrell through suspension, have named Alex Goode at 10 in his place, partnering scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth.

Saracens team: Elliot Daly, Alex Lewington, Duncan Taylor, Brad Barritt (c), Sean Maitland; Alex Goode, Richard Wigglesworth; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Vincent Koch, Maro Itoje, Tim Swinson, Michael Rhodes, Jackson Wray, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Tom Woolstencroft, Richard Barrington, Alec Clarey, Callum Hunter-Hill, Calum Clark, Aled Davies, Manu Vunipola, Dominic Morris.


Ulster have recalled John Cooney to the starting team for Sunday's trip to face Toulouse. The Ireland scrum-half had dropped to the bench for the Pro14 final behind Alby Mathewson.

But Dan McFarland has picked him at nine to partner Billy Burns in the European quarter-final tie at Stade Ernest-Wallon.

Michael Lowry, Rob Lyttle and Jacob Stockdale form the back three, with Stuart McCloskey and James Hume occupying the starting centre spots. 

John Cooney speaks to team-mate Ian Madigan after coming on in the Pro14 final

Jack McGrath, Rob Herring and Tom O'Toole make up the front row, with Iain Henderson captaining the side from the second row alongside Alan O'Connor. 

Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney are the back row partnership at Stade Ernest-Wallon.

Ulster team: Michael Lowry, Rob Lyttle, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Billy Burns, John Cooney; Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Tom O'Toole, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (c), Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Marty Moore, Sam Carter, Kieran Treadwell, Alby Mathewson, Matt Faddes, Matthew Rea.

Toulouse: Thomas Ramos, Yoann Huget, Sofiane Guitoune, Pita Ahki, Cheslin Kolbe; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Charlie Faumuina, Rory Arnold, Joe Tekori, Jerome Kaino (c), Francois Cros, Selevasio Tolofua.

Replacements: Julien Marchand, Rodrigue Neti, Dorian Aldegheri, Emmanuel Meafou, Alban Placines, Zack Holmes, Alexi Bales, Matthis Lebel. 

Follow the Champions Cup quarter-final between Leinster and Saracens (3pm Saturday) with our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app or listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1.

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