The Leinster team we’d like to start against Toulouse The 42

LEINSTER FACE big selection decisions ahead of Saturday’s Champions Cup final against Toulouse, and with the province due to name their team on Friday, we’ve made an early move on matchday 23. We’d like to see Leo Cullen and their coaches. choose.

On the side, Hugo Keenan He can make a welcome return after missing wins against La Rochelle and Northampton Saints with a hip injury.

Keenan looked very good for the full 80 minutes against Ulster at the weekend and, having come through with no problems, is surely ready to start in London.

James Lowe will resume his position in the band but the return of Jimmy O’Brien complicates the selection of the last three.

With Garry Ringrose still working his way back to fitness, there is a case for starting O’Brien at center before Jaime Osbornethat has been associated Robbie Henshaw in midfield during Ringrose’s absence. O’Brien started at center against Ulster, but shone in his more familiar wing position against Ospreys a week earlier.

It’s a tough decision, but O’Brien could pull through Jordan Larmour for jersey 14 with Henshaw and Osborne continuing their impressive central partnership. Even if Ringrose was fit, it would be a big ask for him to come in and hit the ground running against Toulouse; The center’s last appearance was for Ireland against Scotland on March 16.

Ross Byrne will continue in the half, but needs to replicate their dominant display from the quarter-final win against La Rochelle, rather than the more mixed bag against the Saints in the semi-final.

medium tight Jamison Gibson-Park He is in top form and his battle against the Toulouse maestro Antoine Dupont will be a blockbuster.

There is no discussion with the front row of Ireland International andres porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlongwho has returned to his best level this year.

Joe McCarthy He has also had an excellent season and will have an important role to play on the second line.

Ross Molonia and Jason Jenkins has rotated as McCarthy’s blocking partner but with James Ryan is fit again, the Leinster co-captain has to start. Ryan was arguably the best player on the field in last year’s final before being forced to retire through injury and his aggressiveness and rucking ability will be important against a quality Toulouse group.

The dynamics Ryan Baird has made the number six shirt his own this season and Doris Caelan He has been a standout figure at number eight, delivering influential performances while also taking on the captaincy in the absence of Ringrose and Ryan.

The big decision comes on the open side, where Will Connors and Josh van der Flier They are in competition to begin with. Connors started both games against La Rochelle this season and Van der Flier has had a strong impact off the bench, so the temptation is to opt for a 6/2 bench split again with Connors starting.

The 6/2 worked well against La Rochelle in the quarter-finals and Leinster did not have the same impact on the bench as they reverted to a 5/3 split against Northampton in the semi-finals. Toulouse are a different type of challenge to La Rochelle’s hard-hitting ball carriers, but the power offered by a 6/2 bench should be very tempting this week.

Rónan Kelleher, cyan healy and Michael Ala’alatoa They are a strong front row support act on the bench.

The powerful Jenkins could outperform Molony as second-string coverage, while Jack Conan He is a quality third-row replacement to turn to, with Van der Flier also available to replace Connors after half-time.

Lucas McGrath and the versatile Ciarán Frawley cover their backs, and Larmour was unlucky enough to get lost.

There are some tight and difficult decisions, but this is a dynamic, quality Leinster team that can go to London and end their Champions Cup drought.

This is the matchday 23 we would like Leinster to select for Saturday’s Champions Cup final:

15. Hugo Keenan
14. Jimmy O’Brien
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Jamie Osborne
11. James Lowe
10. Ross Byrne
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Andrew Porter
2. Dan Sheehan
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Joe McCarthy
5. James Ryan
6. Ryan Baird
7. Will Connors
8. Caëlan Doris

Replacements:

16. Rónan Kelleher
17. Cyan Healy
18. Michael Ala’alatoa
19.Jason Jenkins
20. Jack Conan
21. Lucas McGrath
22. Ciarán Frawley
23. Josh van der Flier