Heineken Champions Cup: Sexton and Furlong out of Leinster’s Racing 92 opener

Champions Cup: Leinster doubts over Tadhg Furlong and Johnny Sexton for Racing opener

Tadhg Furlong was forced off with an ankle problem during Leinster’s win over Ulster
Venue: Stade Oceane, Le Havre Date: Saturday, 10 December Kick-off: 13:00 GMT
Coverage: Score updates and match report on BBC Sport website

Johnny Sexton and Tadhg Furlong will miss Leinster’s Heineken Champions Cup opener against Racing 92 on Saturday.

Sexton remains out with the calf problem which led to his late withdrawal from Ireland’s game against Australia three weeks ago.

Furlong injured an ankle in Leinster’s win over Ulster last weekend.

The side shows three changes from the Ulster game with Andrew Porter, Caelan Doris and Charlie Ngatai in for Cian Healy, Jack Conan and Jamie Osborne.

Prop Healy was sent off against Ulster, but his red card was subsequently overturned and he will be on the bench for the contest which is being played at Stade Oceane in Le Havre because Racing 92’s home venue in Paris is being used to host a concert this weekend

Racing 92 go into Saturday’s game in second spot in the Top 14 after winning their last four matches.

With Sexton ruled out, Ross Byrne will be involved in the fly-half battle with Scotland star Finn Russell.

The Racing backline also includes England international Christian Wade, who recently signed for the Paris club following a three-year stint in the US with NFL franchise Buffalo Bills, plus Argentina star Juan Imhoff and Gael Fickou, who helped France secure the Grand Slam back in March.

Racing’s pack has several France internationals including Eddy Ben Arous, Camille Chat and Cameron Woki.

Four-time European champions Leinster reached last year’s final but were edged out 24-21 by Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle side.

The Irish province defeated Racing 92 15-12 in the 2018 final and the French have yet to win the competition having also lost the 2016 and 2020 finals against Saracens and Exeter.

Racing 92: Spring; Wade, Saili, Fickou, Imhoff; Russell, Le Garrec; Ben Arous, Chat, Gomes Sa; Woki, Sanconnie; Lauret, Diallo, Baudonne.

Replacements: Tarrit, Kolingar, Nyakane, Bresler, Palu, Chouzenoux, Gibert, Klemenczak.

Leinster: Keenan; O’Brien, Ringrose, Ngatai, Lowe; Byrne, Gibson-Park; Porter, D Sheehan, Ala’alatoa; Jenkins, Ryan; Baird, Van der Flier, Doris.

Replacements: R Kelleher, E Byrne, Healy, Molony, Conan, McGrath, H Byrne, Osborne.

Referee: Luke Pearce (England).

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