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Heineken Champions Cup Semi Final: Leinster v Toulouse

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Sunday 21 April
15:15
Aviva Stadium
BT Sport/Channel 4/Virgin Media One
 

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Starting this early because to be honest I can't really get hyped for round 20 of the Pro14, my interest goes as far as Henshaw and Toner making successful returns from injury and not much further.

I've seen a fair bit of doom and gloom from Leinster fans over the last week that I don't really get, Toulouse are really dangerous but we're favourites and rightly so. Dupont scares me though and I'd be very happy to see Toulouse go through so long as they win it, I don't really want to put up with a year of Munster or Saracens being champions.

On the Leinster end, hopefully we'll see something like this: Larmour
Adam Byrne (mostly so he can have a go at Kolbe in the air)
Ringrose
Henshaw
Lowe/Dave Kearney (I'd want to see more from Lowe in Pro14 games to be honest, he's not really in great form)
Sexton (hopefully, it'd be better if he got a game in this week though)
McGrath
Healy
Cronin
Furlong
Toner
Ryan
Ruddock
Deegan (has to start, he's in brilliant form and he's going to play at this level sooner or later)
Conan

Tracy
Ed Byrne (it's a pity Jack McGrath's Leinster career is ending like this but he really isn't playing particularly well)
Porter
Fardy/Molony (doesn't look like Molony or Kearney will be fit so we have to pick Fardy really)
SOB
JGP/O'Sullivan
Ross Byrne
Rob Kearney (although I wouldn't complain if he starts), we could see Dave here, or Conor O'Brien - Reid and O'Loughlin don't look like they'll make it.

I'm kind of making it up in the back three, we'll see what happens against Glasgow and I'm fairly clueless as to what the story is with the foreigners (in fairness I'm fairly clueless about everything as well), but the fact that Gibson-Park is currently concussed and that all our squad locks are injured would point to Lowe and Fardy, but I'm not sure that Lowe's form actually merits being picked over Larmour, Byrne or either Kearney so if JGP is fit we might as well pick him because the gap to O'Sullivan is huge. Anyway sorry for the ramble, the important thing is that I think we'll win.
 

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I can’t see us winning Clermont this Sunday and Leinster the weekend after. Big ask of a young squad to chase both comps with many on their first pro season. We are down to our 3rd and 4th choice hookers until June. This is a young squad starting to gel.

I’d love to be wrong!
 

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Having seen us play Glasgow I'd pick: Healy, Cronin, Furlong, Toner, Ryan, Ruddock, Deegan, Conan, McGrath, Sexton, Dave Kearney, Henshaw, Ringrose, Larmour, Rob Kearney and Tracy, Ed Byrne, Porter, Fardy, SOB, JGP, Ross Byrne, Tomane
 

The Alpha Bro

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Sexy, Henshaw and Toner all doing a full weeks training and will be back. Apart from 7 it's more or less a full bill of health.
 

The Alpha Bro

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Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Rob Kearney (207)
14. Jordan Larmour (35)
13. Garry Ringrose (61)
12. Robbie Henshaw (33)
11. James Lowe (26)
10. Johnny Sexton (156) CAPTAIN
9. Luke McGrath (109)
1. Cian Healy (204)
2. Seán Cronin (169)
3. Tadhg Furlong (98)
4. Devin Toner (228)
5. James Ryan (27)
6. Rhys Ruddock (158)
7. Seán O’Brien (124)
8. Jack Conan (85)

16. James Tracy (90)
17. Ed Byrne (42)
18. Michael Bent (121)
19. Scott Fardy (40)
20. Max Deegan (41)
21. Hugh O’Sullivan (13)
22. Ross Byrne (67)
23. Rory O’Loughlin (59)

Ohhhh baby! Wish Adam Byrne was in there somewhere but that's a strong team, reckon we're out to try to strangle those French kids.
 

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Strong team. Tough on Adam Byrne and Dave Kearney who've both been in great form but that is our strongest back three overall.

Not sold on SOB right now, I'd have started Deegan. Hopefully I'm wrong but if form is anything to go by O'Brien is going to trudge off after 50 minutes having made 5 metres off 10 carries.
 

munstermuffin

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Why was Porter cut? I like him as a player. And well I get that he isn't in huge form but he is still learning. Is it a case there is huge fears over Tadgh and Bent is more trusted?

Adam Byrne obviously isn't as highly rated as we thought. And while Leo has his reasons I feel this dents his RWC chances beyond repair.
Tough pack and well Toulouse team is interesting
 

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Was that confirmed? I was looking but I couldn't find anything.

I could see logic in picking Bent to protect the scrum if McGrath isn't on the bench. I wouldn't agree with it but I'd be able to see the reasoning. The far more likely explanation is that he isn't 100% though, he didn't play last week either.
 

The Alpha Bro

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Was that confirmed? I was looking but I couldn't find anything.

I could see logic in picking Bent to protect the scrum if McGrath isn't on the bench. I wouldn't agree with it but I'd be able to see the reasoning. The far more likely explanation is that he isn't 100% though, he didn't play last week either.
Ruairidh O'Connor first said that he wasn't 100% and then that he wasn't available on twitter. Fairly certain it wasn't a case of Porter being fit and ready to go but not getting picked from things I've heard as well.
 

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What I would give for a Munster Toulouse final.

I might even make the trip to the toon if that happens.
 

The Alpha Bro

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What I would give for a Munster Toulouse final.

I might even make the trip to the toon if that happens.
You know you can just change 'n' to 'ce' and pretend?
 

The Alpha Bro

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Considering the religious nature of the week past on TRF: What do Leinster's domineering form and Jesus Christ have in common?
 

Tigs Man

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Both have bandwagon fans?
 

The Alpha Bro

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This has backfired almost as much as the existence of religion... /s
 

big ginger 8

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Losing Ruddock is a blow but having Fardy to replace him isn’t too shabby.
 

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