Leinster expose experience gulf with Bulls in URC semi-final

Leinster will be hoping to make the most of their considerable experience advantage when they face Vodacom Bulls in the Final Four of the United Rugby Championship.

Jamison Gibson-Park of Leinster. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Jamison Gibson-Park of Leinster. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Glasgow’s conquerors made light work of the Warriors and, against the South Africans, are strong favourites to proceed to the final and meet either the Stormers or Ulster.

Even with Johnny Sexton on the bench, the Irish side's strength is exhibited in the various internationals in the front and back rows.

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It’s a differential not lost on Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White. He said: “Leinster is a phenomenal side that is very well-coached and is full of international players. You look at their bench and they have players who have more caps for the club than the entire Vodacom Bulls team combined. So we are definitely up against a quality side and it will be a great challenge.”

The Bulls have made no changes to their starting XV from last week’s Final Eight fixture for tonight’s game, which begins at 7.35pm GMT on Premier Sports.

Leinster: Jimmy O’Brien; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose; Robbie Henshaw, Rory O’Loughlin, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong, Joe McCarthy, James Ryan (Capt), Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Seán Cronin, Cian Healy, Michael Ala’alatoa, Ross Molony, Ryan Baird, Luke McGrath, Johnny Sexton, Ciarán Frawley.

Vodacom Bulls: Canan Moodie, David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith, Zak Burger; Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar, Mornay Smith, Walt Steenkamp, Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee, Arno Botha, Elrigh Louw.

Replacements: Bismarck du Plessis, Simphiwe Matanzima, Robert Hunt, Janko Swanepoel, WJ Steenkamp; Embrose Papier, Morne Steyn, Kurt-Lee Arendse.

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