Leinster v Biarritz - Amlin Challenge Cup match preview
Last Updated: 27/04/13 2:26pm
European giants Leinster have recalled a number of their star names for Saturday's Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final with Biarritz.
Leinster coach Joe Schmidt opted to give some of his squad a well-earned break for the RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Zebre last out.
However Rob Kearney, Ian Madigan and Isaac Boss all return to the back division, with Isa Nacewa moving the wing.
Up front Jamie Heaslip, Shane Jennings, Leo Cullen, Mike Ross and Cian Healy have been restored to the starting XV.
Leinster are chasing their fourth European final in five seasons, having won three of the past four Heineken Cups.
Biarritz are not strangers themselves to the biggest stage, having twice been runners up in the Heineken Cup and won the Amlin title last season.
The Top 14 outfit are also back at full-strength after fielding a below-par side in their 16-0 loss to Bordeaux.
Taku Ngwenya, Benoit Baby, Damien Traille, Jean-Pascal Barraque and Dimitri Yachvili will bolster the back division.
In the pack Imanol Harinordoquy, Thibault Dubarry, Erik Lund, Ben Broster, Arnaud Heguy and Thomas Synaeghel all start.
Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Ian Madigan, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 John Cooney, 22 Andrew Goodman, 23 Andrew Conway.
Biarritz: 15 Marcelo Bosch, 14 Taku Ngwenya, 13 Benoît Baby, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Thibault Dubarry, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Erik Lund, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Thomas Synaeghel.
Replacements: 16 Benoit August, 17 Eugène Van Staden, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Wenceslas Lauret, 20 Mathias Marie, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Seremaïa Burotu, 23 Teddy Thomas.
Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals 2012/13
Jamie Heaslip ran in two tries as Leinster thrashed holders Biarritz 44-16 to reach the Amlin Challenge Cup final.
Jerome Porical booted two huge late kicks as Stade Francais made the Amlin Cup final after a thrilling win at Perpignan.
Perpignan will hope home advantage will count in their favour against Stade Francais in the Amlin Challenge Cup.