GLASGOW WARRIORS v LEINSTER, Firhill, 7.30pm (live Setanta Sports)
Team News: Shane Horgan will become the first player from a junior club to captain Leinster on Friday night. The Boyne RFC clubman will lead the team against the Glasgow Warriors. Horgan has been selected to partner Christian Warner at centre, while the other change in the back-line see Ireland 'A' cap Ross McCarron come in for his first start of the season at full-back.
Ireland internationals Rob Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald have been named on both wings with Cillian Willis again partnering Jonathan Sexton at half-back. All four players started last Friday's heavy defeat to the Llanelli Scarlets at the RDS.
In the pack, Cameron Jowitt will partner Devin Toner at second row with Shane Jennings forming a dynamic and exciting looking back row alongside Stephen Keogh and Kevin McLaughlin.
Malcolm O'Kelly is named on a bench which includes fellow international Keith Gleeson, alongside Ireland 'A' squad members Brian Blaney, Chris Keane and Fergus McFadden. Interestingly, and a sign of the development structures bearing fruit, 12 members of the squad to face Glasgow have come through Leinster's Academy system in recent years.
Meanwhile, Glasgow welcome back two of their players from World Cup duty for the Firhill encounter. Back rower John Barclay, who made his international debut against the All Blacks during the World Cup, starts at openside with Stevie Swindall and Johnnie Beattie retaining their positions at blindside and number eight respectively.
Hooker Fergus Thomson also returns to the 22 and takes his place on the replacements bench having graduated onto the international scene back in August.
Glasgow: Bernardo Stortoni; Max Evans, Graeme Morrison, Daryl Gibson, Thom Evans; Colin Gregor, Sam Pinder; Ed Kalman, Eric Milligan, Moray Low, Andy Newman, Alastair Kellock (capt), Stevie Swindall, John Barclay, Johnnie Beattie.
Replacements: Fergus Thomson, Michael Collins, Dan Turner, James Eddie, Chris O'Young, Scott Barrow, Hefin O'Hare.
Leinster: Ross McCarron; Luke Fitzgerald, Shane Horgan (capt), Christian Warner, Rob Kearney; Jonathan Sexton, Cillian Willis; Stan Wright, Bernard Jackman, Stephen Knoop, Cameron Jowitt, Devin Toner, Stephen Keogh, Shane Jennings, Kevin McLaughlin.
Replacements: Brian Blaney, Cian Healy, Malcolm O'Kelly, Keith Gleeson, Chris Keane, Fergus McFadden, Fionn Carr.
Referee: Hugh Watkins (Wales)
Coach Speak: Michael Cheika (Leinster) - "There was huge disappointment for the players (against the Scarlets) last week. We have a number of young players who will benefit enormously from that experience and from the previous week's victory in Wales. There's nothing simple about professional rugby and players' careers won't ever go on an upward spiral. The top players take experience, learn their lesson from it and then build on it because we've nothing else to take from last weekend.
"Without disrespecting Glasgow, the challenge for us this week is about how we perform ourselves. That first defeat of the season and the loss of our home record has affected the players because that's something they're proud of, but the win away in Cardiff has given us the belief to win on the road."
Top Scorers: 2007/08 Magners League - Points: Glasgow: Colin Gregor 35; Leinster: Jonathan Sexton 36; Tries: Glasgow: James Eddie, Colin Shaw, Sam Pinder, Johnnie Beattie 1 each; Leinster: Luke Fitzgerald 3.
PREVIOUS LEAGUE MEETINGS:
August 17, 2001: Leinster 39 Glasgow 11, Donnybrook
December 7, 2001: Semi-Final - Leinster 35 Glasgow 13, Lansdowne Road
September 6, 2002: Glasgow 25 Leinster 21, Hughenden
October 31, 2003: Glasgow 10 Leinster 31, Hughenden
April 2, 2004: Leinster 31 Glasgow 30, Donnybrook
November 26, 2004: Leinster 22 Glasgow 16, Donnybrook
April 16, 2005: Glasgow 23 Leinster 30, Hughenden
September 10, 2005: Leinster 26 Glasgow 21, Donnybrook
May 7, 2006: Glasgow 18 Leinster 21, Firhill
November 10, 2006: Leinster 38 Glasgow 23, Donnybrook
April 6, 2007: Glasgow 26 Leinster 20, Hughenden
- Glasgow Warriors had a successful return to Firhill last Friday, turning over Connacht 16-15 in a nail-biting game. Glasgow have, in fact, been beaten just once at home in the Magners League since the opening game of last season - a 19-8 defeat to Ulster at Hughenden on January 6 last.
- Leinster slipped up at home to Llanelli Scarlets last Friday, ending a 16-match home winning run that lasted almost two years. Leinster have lost on their last four visits to Scotland since beating Edinburgh 31-8 at Murrayfield in May 2006.
- Glasgow beat Leinster 26-20 the last time the two teams met on April 6 to end a ten-game losing run against the province.
LEINSTER MATCH REPORTS:
October 5 - Leinster 23 Llanelli Scarlets 52
September 28 - Cardiff Blues 19 Leinster 30
September 22 - Leinster 23 Edinburgh 8