Planet Rugby

Preview: Leinster v Clermont

14th December 2012 11:58

Share:

Jonathan Sexton tackles Lee Byrne Leinster v Clermont Auvergne Heineken Cup Pool 5 Stade Marcel Michelin

Possible Lions: Johnny Sexton and Lee Byrne

Heinke Van Der Merwe and Richardt Strauss will both start in the front row for Leinster's rematch with Clermont in the Heineken Cup.

The champions must win at home to remain in touch with Clermont, as they look for a third successive Heineken Cup title in three years.

Heinke van der Merwe has recovered from injury and the Springbok prop is one of two changes to the front row alongside Ireland international hooker Richardt Strauss. They line up alongside Mike Ross, with skipper Leo Cullen continuing his second row partnership with Damian Browne.

Shane Jennings, a second half replacement in Clermont last weekend, starts in the back-row alongside fellow Ireland internationals Sean O'Brien and number eight Jamie Heaslip.

Eoin Reddan partners Jonathan Sexton in the only change to the backline which started last weekend's game, which means that Andrew Goodman will continue his midfield partnership with Gordon D'Arcy.

David Kearney has recovered from injury to take his place amongst a replacements bench which features several Ireland internationals.

Meanwhile, Clermont fly-half Brock James faces a late fitness test before the re-match with champions Leinster in the Heineken Cup at the Aviva Stadium.

A win for Clermont - who are now favourites to win Heineken Cup Pool 5 - would put them in pole position for a home quarter-final place, whilst also taking out one of their nearest rivals for the title in the process.

David Skrela will replace James if he is unable to play, with Benson Stanley then set to provide cover from the bench.

Julien Bardy and Raphael Chaume both start in the pack replacing Alexandre Lapandry and Vincent Debaty.

Aurélien Rougerie continues to captain the side, the player with the most offloads so far in the Heineken Cup this season.

Odds on Paddy Power: Leinster at 1/3; Clermont at 5/2

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Ian Madigan, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Gordon D'Arcy, 12 Andrew Goodman, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Damien Browne, 4 Leo Cullen (capt), 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Heinke Van Der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Kevin McLaughlin, 21 Issac Boss, 22 Andrew Conway, 23 David Kearney.

Clermont: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Aurélien Rougerie (c), 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Brock James/David Skrela, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Raphael Chaume.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Loïc Jacquet, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Ludo Radosavljevic, 22 David Skrela/Benson Stanley, 23 Regan King.

Date: Saturday, December 15
Kick-off: 15:40
Venue: Aviva Stadium
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Martin Fox (England), Paul Dix (England)
Television match official: Geoff Warren (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821