Leinster and Ireland rugby star Robbie Henshaw. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile.

Henshaw named in Leinster team for Champions Cup final

Robbie Henshaw has been named in the Leinster team for the Heineken Champions Cup final against La Rochelle which takes place tomorrow (Saturday) in the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 4.45pm).

The Athlone man's inclusion is one of two changes to the team that defeated Toulouse in the semi-final, with the other alteration seeing James Lowe selected on the left wing in place of Jordan Larmour.

Henshaw will be partnered by his Ireland teammate Garry Ringrose in the centre, in a team captained by second row forward James Ryan.

On the bench, Cian Healy is set to become the first player in the history of the competition to feature in seven Champions Cup finals. Healy is also in line to become Leinster’s most-capped player in European competition, making his 105th appearance, overtaking Gordon D’Arcy’s long-standing record.

Leinster were defeated by old rivals Munster in the United Rugby Championship semi-final last weekend, but the bigger prize of the Champions Cup was surely always their chief target for the season. The Champions Cup, basically rugby's equivalent of soccer's Champions League, is the top prize in European club rugby.

BoyleSports have reported that Leo Cullen’s side have been backed down to 2/7 from 4/11 to get their hands on the Champions Cup for a fifth time, just a year on from suffering heartache in Marseille when the same opponents clinched victory with a last-gasp try from Arthur Retiere.

However, Ronan O’Gara’s men are underdogs to retain their status as champions on enemy turf, while the handicap betting suggests an 8-point start for the French outfit may be required to reel in the favourites.

The Champions Cup final will be shown live on RTÉ2 and BT Sport 2, with radio commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 and Newstalk.

Leinster team v La Rochelle (caps in brackets)

15. Hugo Keenan (55)

14. Jimmy O’Brien (70)

13. Garry Ringrose (115)

12. Robbie Henshaw (76)

11. James Lowe (71)

10. Ross Byrne (147)

9. Jamison Gibson-Park (126)

1. Andrew Porter (107)

2. Dan Sheehan (45)

3. Tadhg Furlong (133)

4. Ross Molony (161)

5. James Ryan (72) captain

6. Caelan Doris (67)

7. Josh van der Flier (130)

8. Jack Conan (132)

Replacements: 16. Rónan Kelleher (46), 17. Cian Healy (264), 18. Michael Ala’alatoa (46), 19. Jason Jenkins (18), 20. Ryan Baird (53), 21. Luke McGrath (195), 22. Ciarán Frawley (67), 23. Charlie Ngatai (15).