Leinster v Toulon preview: Team news, kick-off time, line-ups, odds and stats for the Champions Cup clash
Leinster face defending champions Toulon in the European Champions Cup on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium: 17:15 kick-off
The hosts make a few injury-enforced alterations as Fergus McFadden and Isaac Boss bow out of the run-on team
Toulon makes has made just two changes to their starting XV that cruised to victory against the Irish province last weekend
The hosts are on their worst run in their 139-year history in top European competition
Ireland prop Cian Healy is free to play for the Irish province after appealing his two-week suspension
Leinster will be hoping to halt a four-game losing streak in the European Champions Cup when they face Toulon in front of around 44,000 people at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
The Irish province will be hoping for a change of fortune as they are enduring the worst run in European rugby in the sides 139-year history.
Last Sunday’s 24-9 defeat at the Stade Felix Mayol in the reverse fixture all but ended the three-time champions chances of reaching the quarter-final.
Ireland prop Cian Healy is free to play for the hostsafter appealing his two-week suspension for allegedly striking Guilhem Guiardo with his knee and is named among the replacements.
Fellow Ireland international Jack McGrath replaces Healy in the front row and is the only change to Leinster’s pack, with Rhys Ruddock set to make his 100th appearance for the province.
Fergus McFadden and Isaac Boss though have both failed to shake off minor strains in time for the return fixture with Toulon.
Winger McFadden picked up a calf strain on Tuesday and did not come through the session this morning, likewise scrum half Boss who had a hamstring issue during the week. Neither injury is of long-term concern.
As a result, in the backs, Rob Kearney continues at full-back with Dave Kearney coming in for McFadden on the right wing and Isa Nacewa on the left
Meanwhile, Toulon make two changes to their pack as Jocelino Suta replaces Samu Manoa at lock and captain Juan Smith comes in at blindside flanker.
England exile Steffon Armitage continues at openside after scoring twice in the first fixture while Ma’a Nonu and Mathieu Bastareaud continue to develop their potentially devastatin centre partnership.
Eric Escande and Matt Giteau are retained at half-back as Toulon chase a 17th victory in their last 19 European fixtures.
Leinster are now enduring their worst losing streak (four matches) in their 139 match Champions Cup history
The Irish province have never lost back-to-back home games in the same season of a Champions Cup campaign.
Toulon are undefeated (W3) against Leinster Rugby in the Champions Cup including wins against them in the knock-out stages of each of the last two tournaments
The French side have won 16 of their last 18 Champions Cup matches, though both of the losses have come on the road
Leinster7/4, Draw 28/1, Toulon 1/2
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Leinster: Rob Kearney
Toulon: Matt Giteau
Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Ben Te’o, 12 Luke Fitzgerald, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip 7 Josh Van Der Flier, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Nick Mc Carthy, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Zane Kirchner
Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Eric Escande, 8 Duane Vermeulen 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Jocelino Suta, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Florian Fresia
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Levan Chilachava, 19 Mamuka Gorgodze, 20 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 21 Tom Taylor, 22 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 23 Konstantine Mikautadze
Date: Saturday, December 19
Venue: Aviva Stadium
Kick-off: 17:15 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)