Leo Cullen is likely to stay with last weekend’s winning team if he names his Leinster side to face Toulouse in tomorrow’s Champions Cup semi-finals.
s yesterday, more than 37,000 tickets were sold for the much-anticipated clash at the Aviva stadium between five-time winners Toulouse and Leinster, who look to add a fifth star to their kit in Marseille in two weeks time.
Although the clash is unlikely to sell out, Leinster is hoping ticket sales will surpass the 40,000 mark after 40,479 fans attended last Saturday’s Aviva for Munster’s dramatic defeat by Toulouse.
Cullen should be able to fall back on the same starting XV that beat Leicester as captain Johnny Sexton and winger Jimmy O’Brien are expected to win their respective races to be fit after being forced off at Welford Road became.
Ryan Baird’s addition to the bench for the Leinster ‘A’ team tonight has effectively barred him from any involvement with the Aviva, meaning James Ryan and Ross Molony are likely to remain starting locks.
Andrew Porter, Rónan Kelleher and Tadhg Furlong will compete on the front row in Toulouse, which will also include Grand Slam winners Julien Marchand and Cyril Baille.
Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan are all expected to form an all-Ireland back line again, with Jamison Gibson-Park continuing to partner with Sexton in central defence.
Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose should renew their impressive midfield combination, with O’Brien hoping to prove his fitness and join Hugo Keenan and James Lowe in the back three.
Cullen will be hoping to draw on Cian Healy’s experience off the bench after the veteran was also sent off last weekend.