Share this article

With European affairs to contend with, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen showed no reservations about rotating his squad for the Guinness PRO14 final. 

Garry Ringrose will captain the Blues at the Aviva, as they look to win the PRO14 for the third consecutive season.

Jonathan Sexton drops to the bench, along with his regular half-back partner Luke McGrath.

In their place will start Ross Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park.

Cullen says the workload required by his scrum and fly-halves means it behoves him to rotate, "Because we've got two very experienced, at this point - Johnny is a different level in terms of the experience that he has - but between the four, the two 9s and the two 10s, we're very lucky in that regard so we've got a lot of confidence in the guys to mix and match like that".

The Leinster head coach insists selection is not a "straight-forward" thing when fighting on two fronts, "It's making sure that you have guys that are able to give full of themselves on the day, and being fair to the group as well.

"Ross [Byrne] is an international 10 at this stage," Cullen added, "Johnny's got a wealth of experience, and I think he'll give good impact from the bench whenever that may be.

"But again, Ross, you've to remember how important he's been to the team over the course of this season - this very very long season that we've had."

Cullen's insistence on a 23-man game extends to his lack of surprise at Ulster's team selection.

Despite hauling Ulster Fitzcarraldo-like over the mountain away to Edinburgh, Ian Madigan's on the bench for the final with Billy Burns starting at out-half.

"I think he did a good job coming off the bench the last day," Cullen said, "So you can see why Ulster would keep him in that same role.

"For us, we have to make sure that our discipline is good late in the game, because Mads enjoys those big-pressure kicks, for sure."

Share this article

Read more about

Guinness Pro14 Ian Madigan Jamison Gibson-park Jonathan Sexton Leinster Leo Cullen Luke Mcgrath Pro 14 Ross Byrne Sexton Ulster

You might like