O'Brien misses Leinster's Champions Cup semi vs. Clermont

After being named in the British & Irish Lions squad earlier this week, Leinster’s Sean O’Brien will miss Sunday’s Champions Cup semifinal with Clermont Auvergne at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon due to a hamstring injury.

The four remaining Lions squad members, Johnny Sexton, Robbie Henshaw, Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong are named in the starting lineup while Jamie Heaslip misses out.

There is no doubting the size of the task awaiting Leinster in France, but history is on their side as the last time a Top 14 club lost a semi-final in France was back in 2012 when Leinster defeated Clermont in Bordeaux.

Leinster captain, Isa Nacewa, will become the 18th player to make 50 European Cup appearances for the Irish province.

Clermont coach Jono Gibbes was on the Leinster touchline back in 2012 but in the previous eight games between the teams, Leinster have come out on top five times.

The French side are without Noa Nakaitaci and Wesley Fofana, both out injured and have scored eight tries between them this season.

English winger Nick Abendanon will hope to continue his try-scoring form, having scored five tries to date this season, with Isa Nacewa leading the tournaments try-scorer grabbing seven tries to date.


Clermont: 15. Scott Spedding, 14. David Strettle, 13. Aurelien Rougerie, 12. Remi Lamerat, 11. Nick Abendanon, 10. Camille Lopez, 9. Morgan Parra; 1. Raphael Chaume, 2. Benjamin Kayser, 3. David Zirakashvili, 4. Artur Iturria, 5. Sebastien Vahaamahina, 6. Damien Chouly, 7. Peceli Yato, 8. Fritz Lee. Reserves: 16. John Ulugia, 17. Etienne Falgoux, 18. Aaron Jarvis, 19. Paul Jedrasiak, 20. Alexandre Lapandry, 21. Ludovic Radoslavjevic, 22. Patricio Fernandez, 23. Damian Penaud.

Leinster: 15. Joey Carbery, 14. Fergus McFadden, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Robbie Henshaw, 11. Isa Nacewa, 10. Johnny Sexton, 9. Luke McGrath; 1. Jack McGrath, 2. Richardt Strauss, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Devin Toner, 5. Hayden Triggs, 6. Rhys Ruddock, 7. Dan Leavy, 8. Jack Conan. Reserves: 16. Seán Cronin, 17. Peter Dooley, 18. Michael Bent, 19. Ross Molony, 20. Josh van der Flier, 21. Jamison Gibson-Park, 22. Ross Byrne, 23. Zane Kirchner.