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Leinster set to rest Johnny Sexton in Pro14 final clash with Ulster



Johnny Sexton

Johnny Sexton


Johnny Sexton

Leinster are giving serious consideration to resting Johnny Sexton for Saturday's PRO14 final against Ulster, as Leo Cullen looks to keep his talismanic captain fresh for next week's Champions Cup quarter-final showdown with Saracens.

Ross Byrne is primed to deputise for Sexton, should Cullen decide to make what would be a big call.

Byrne steered the ship in the win over Ulster two weeks ago, and also got the nod for last year's semi-final victory over Munster, with Sexton starting on the bench that day.

Leinster have full trust in Byrne if he is called upon to wear the No 10 jersey this weekend.

With a huge European game against Saracens to follow next week, Cullen wants to ensure that he juggles his resources accordingly.

Ulster coach Dan McFarland is facing selection headaches of his own, and after his excellent performance off the bench in Murrayfield, Alby Mathewson could get the nod at scrum-half ahead of John Cooney.

Leinster's first-choice 9 Luke McGrath, like Sexton, is also set be rested for the league final, which would see Jamison Gibson-Park partnering Byrne at half-back.

Leinster are keen for the fit-again James Ryan to get game-time ahead of the Sarries clash, and after overcoming a shoulder injury, the influential lock is making a strong push for inclusion in the starting XV.

Josh van der Flier is set for a recall against Ulster.

Belfast Telegraph