Sean O’Brien on the charge in the quarter-final victory over Wasps in Dublin

European Champions Cup semi-finalVenue: Stade Gerland Date: Sunday, 23 April Kick-off: 15:00 BST Coverage: Live text updates and scores on the BBC Sport website.

Leinster flanker Sean O’Brien will miss the European Champions Cup semi-final against Clermont in France because of a tight hamstring.

The absence of O’Brien, who was named in the Lions squad this week, is one of two changes from the side that beat Wasps in the quarter-final.

Rhys Ruddock replaces O’Brien in the back row while Fergus McFadden comes in for Ross Byrne on the wing.

Leinster have won the tournament three times, the last success coming in 2012.

Clermont are aiming to win the trophy for the first time after losing to Toulon in the 2013 and 2015 finals.

The French hosts are without backs Wesley Fofana, Noa Nakaitaci and Isaia Toeava for Sunday’s game.

“From time to time you find yourself representing the whole of France because other teams are eliminated,” said Clermont coach Frank Azema.

“But above all we represent the Auvergne in this semi-final. We go into this game with a lot of concentration and clarity with the quality of the opponent that we will meet.”

Isa Nacewa captains Leinster on his 50th European appearance for the province.

Reward for quarter-final try

McFadden gets a start after scoring a try in the quarter-final victory over Wasps at the the Aviva Stadium this month.

In the centre, Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose renew their partnership, with Luke McGrath and Johnny Sexton in the half-backs.

The front row is again the all-Irish international trio of Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss and Tadhg Furlong.

In the second row Devin Toner and Hayden Triggs continue their partnership.

Finally, Ruddock’s recall sees Dan Leavy moving across to the open side and Jack Conan continuing at number eight.

On the bench there is a welcome return to European action for Sean Cronin, while Peter Dooley is in line to make his first European appearance of the season.

Clermont: S Spedding; D Strettle, A Rougerie, R Lamerat, N Abendanon; C Lopez, M Parra, R Chaume, B Kayser, D Zirakashvilli, A Iturria, S Vahaamahina, D Chouly (capt), P Yato, F Lee.

Replacements: J Ulugia, E Falgoux, A Jarvis, P Jedrasiak, A Lapandry, L Radosavljevic, P Fernandez, D Penaud.

Leinster: J Carbery; F McFadden, G Ringrose, R Henshaw I Nacewa (capt); J Sexton, L McGrath, J McGrath, R Strauss, T Furlong, D Toner, H Triggs, R Ruddock, D Leavy, J Conan.

Replacements: S Cronin, P Dooley, M Bent, R Molony, J van der Flier, J Gibson-Park, R Byrne, Z Kirchner.

Ref: Nigel Owens (WRU)


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