Leinster hand Ben Te’o 13 shirt for Champions Cup quarter-final against Bath

LEINSTER HEAD COACH Matt O’Connor has picked former rugby league star Ben Te’o at outside centre for his side’s Champions Cup quarter-final against Bath at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow [KO 15.15].

Te’o will wear Leinster’s 13 shirt tomorrow. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Te’o has been partnered with Ian Madigan in the Leinster midfield for the first time, as Jimmy Gopperth leads the backline from the out-half position.

Former South Sydney Rabbitohs league player Te’o will make just his eighth start for the province since joining last summer, with a fractured forearm on his debut in October having stunted his initial adaptation back into rugby union.

Meanwhile, Leinster have opted to reinstate Mike Ross at tighthead prop after the 34-year-old missed out on selection for January’s pool fixtures against Castres and Wasps. Marty Moore is on the bench as back-up to Ross.

Cian Healy and Sean Cronin join the Ireland tighthead in a strong front row, while Mike McCarthy partners the returning Devin Toner in the engine room.

Sean O’Brien is picked at openside flanker for his second Leinster start of the season, and just his second since last September. O’Connor will be hopeful that the Tullow man can bring his Six Nations form to the Aviva tomorrow.

O’Brien back in the Leinster team is an exciting prospect. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Captain Jamie Heaslip and Jordi Murphy complete the back row, with Isaac Boss getting the nod ahead of Eoin Reddan at scrum-half after his sharp second-half display against Glasgow Warriors last weekend.

Rob Kearney is at fullback in a back three that also includes Luke Fitzgerald and Fergus McFadden. Dominic Ryan beats off the competition from Shane Jennings and Jack Conan for the replacement back row spot, while Dave Kearney misses out on the match day squad as Gordon D’Arcy and Zane Kirchner cover the backs.

Leinster

15. Rob Kearney
14. Fergus McFadden
13. Ben Te’o
12. Ian Madigan
11. Luke Fitzgerald
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Isaac Boss

1. Cian Healy
2. Sean Cronin
3. Mike Ross
4. Devin Toner
5. Mike McCarthy
6. Jordi Murphy
7. Sean O’Brien
8. Jamie Heaslip (captain)

Replacements:

16. Richardt Strauss
17. Jack McGrath
18. Marty Moore
19. Tom Denton
20. Dominic Ryan
21. Eoin Reddan
22. Gordon D’Arcy
23. Zane Kirchner

Referee: Jerome Garces [France].

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