13/09/2002.Connacht’s unbeaten record will face the severest of tests, right in the lions den, when they travel to Fortress Donnybrook this evening for a clash with the Leinster Lions.
Connacht’s unbeaten record will face the severest of tests, right in the lions den, when they travel to Fortress Donnybrook this evening for a clash with the Leinster Lions. And although the home side will be without key players such as Brian O’Driscoll and Girvan Dempsey they will be fancied to make amends for that defeat last time out in Glasgow. Ulster are another side hoping to get back to winning ways, they travel to Wales for a game with Swansea,(Sat) while Munster are in Scotland to take on Ulster’s conquerors Edinburgh, in Meadowbank.
The game in Dublin 4 (7.35pm) should be a fascinating contest with Connacht in such a rich vein of form against a Leinster side that welcomes back Shane Horgan to win his 50th cap along with lock Malcolm O’Kelly. Leinster will also be anxious to put the defeat in Scotland behind them and even without the high profile O’Driscoll, the couls put an end to Connacht’s run.
Leinster. Gordon D’Arcy; Denis Hickie, Kieran Lewis , Shane Horgan, John McWeeney; Christian Warner, Brian O’Meara; Reg Corrigan (Captain), Shane Byrne, Paul Wallace; Leo Cullen, Malcolm O’Kelly; Eric Miller / Aidan McCullen, Keith Gleeson Victor Costello.
Replacements: Niall Treston, Peter Smyth, Ben Gissing, Des Dillon, Ben Willis, Andy Dunne, David Quinlan.
Connacht M McHugh; T Robinson, D Yapp, T Allnutt capt, W Munn; E Elwood, E Reddan; D McFarland, M Uijs, P Bracken; W Waugh, R Frost; M Swift, J O’Sullivan, J O’Connor.
Replacements. R McCormack, J Flannery, C Rigney, P Neville, M Walls, S Moore, D O’Sullivan.
In Scotland, unbeaten Edinburgh (7.30pm) select a side that starts with 14 internationals and shows three changes from the side that won in Ravenhill. Craig Joiner and Graham Shiel team up in the centre while the Scots boast a formidable back row of Todd Blackadder, Martin Leaslie and Lion Simon Taylor.
Munster. Jeremy Staunton; John Kelly, Mike Mullins, Rob Henderson, John O’Neill; Jason Holland. Dominic Malone; Marcus Horan, Frank Sheahan, John Hayes; Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll; Jim Williams, Alan Quinlan, Anthony Foley.
Replacements. Simon Kerr, James Blaney, Mick Galwey, Eddie Halvey, Mike Prendergast, Killian Keane, Dominic Crotty.
Edinburgh. Brendan Laney; Derrick Lee, Craig Joiner, Graham Shiel, Chris Paterson;
Duncan Hodge, Mike Blair; Allan Jacobsen, Dougie Hall, Craig Smith; Nathan Hines, Scott Murray; Todd Blackadder, Simon Taylor, Martin Leslie.
Replacements: Andrew Kelly, Joel Brannigan, Alastair Kellock, Andrew Dall, Mark McMillan, Tom Philip, Simon Webster.
Ulster leave Irish RWC squad member Paddy Wallace on the bench for their visit to Wales. Wallace played at out-half against Edinburgh but with David Humphreys available and Bryn Cunningham in good form, Wallace finds himself warming the bench.Ulster. Bryn Cunningham; James Topping, Jonathan Bell (Capt), Adam Larkin, Tyrone Howe; David Humphreys, Neil Doak; Justin Fitzpatrick, Matt Sexton, Robbie Kempson; Mark Blair, Jeremy Davidson; Warren Brosnihan, Neil McMillan, Russell Nelson.
Replacements: Simon Best, Paul Shields, Tony McWhirter, Neil Best, Kieran Campbell, Ryan Constable. Paddy Wallace.