Captain Ludlam misses Northampton's semi-final

Lewis Ludlam
Lewis Ludlam is set to join Toulon in the Top 14 at the end of the season [Getty Images]

Investec Champions Cup semi-final

Venue: Croke Park, Dublin Date: Saturday, 4 May Time: 17:30 BST

Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra; live text updates on BBC Sport website and app.

Northampton Saints captain Lewis Ludlam will miss his side's Investec Champions Cup semi-final against Leinster on Saturday because of a shoulder injury.

Flanker Courtney Lawes skippers the Saints at Croke Park, with Ollie Sleightholme also missing out after suffering a concussion.

Sam Graham moves to openside flanker, while number eight Juarno Augustus comes into the side that were defeated by Harlequins at Twickenham last weekend.

Winger Sleightholme, who has been a regular starter this season, scored a try in Northampton's dominant victory against South African side Bulls in their quarter-final.

Despite the loss of Sleightholme, England full-back George Furbank makes up an exciting back three alongside James Ramm and the returning George Hendy.

This means Tommy Freeman, who impressed during the Six Nations on the wing for England, forms a midfield partnership with Fraser Dingwall.

Frawley & Osborne start again

Leinster's Ciaran Frawley and Jamie Osborne both start for the Irish province, who have their own injury problems, with Ireland centre Garry Ringrose and full-back Hugo Keenan again missing out.

Frawley and Osborne continue at full-back and inside centre after impressing in Leinster's quarter-final victory over back-to-back champions La Rochelle.

In the absence of co-captains James Ryan and Ringrose, Caelan Doris skippers the side from number eight.

Last year's runners-up make two changes from their quarter-final starting XV, as Ross Molony and Josh van der Flier both return to the pack.

Flanker Will Connors was picked ahead of Van der Flier for the quarter-final and misses out on the matchday squad, with lock Jason Jenkins moving to the bench.

In positive injury news, utility back Jimmy O'Brien returns among the replacements after recovering from a neck injury that ruled the 27-year-old out of the Six Nations.

Both sides have won all six of their matches in the competition and recorded convincing wins in their last-eight games.

However, Northampton have won just one of their past 10 meetings with Leinster.


Leinster: Frawley; Larmour, Henshaw, Osborne, Lowe; R Byrne, Gibson-Park; Porter, Sheehan, Furlong, Molony, McCarthy, Baird, Van der Flier, Doris (capt).

Replacements: Kelleher, Healy, Ala'alatoa, Jenkins, Conan, McGrath, H Byrne, O'Brien.

Northampton: Furbank; Ramm, Freeman, Dingwall, Hendy; Smith, Mitchell; Waller, Langdon, Davison, Moon, Coles, Lawes (capt), Graham, Augustus.

Replacements: Matavesi, Iyogun, Millar-Mills, Mayanavanua, Scott-Young, James, Litchfield, Seabrook.

Referee: Mathieu Reynal (Fra)