A full house is expected as the Leinster Lions lead the Irish charge into Europe when they take on Bristol Shoguns in Donnybrook this evening (7.35pm).
A full house is expected when Leinster Lions lead the Irish charge into Europe when they take on Bristol Shoguns in Donnybrook this evening (7.35pm). in the opening round of the Heineken Cup.
The Pool 4 game in Dublin starts just five minutes after title holders Leicester Tigers launch their bid for a third successive title in the Courage Gnoll (v Neath).
Other games being played this evening include Sale Sharks v Bourgoin and Edinburgh v Newport.
Last time they were in Donnybrook, Leinster blasted Newport away in the Celtic League and despite the presence of players such as Augustin Pichot, Felipe Contepomi and Daryl Gibson, the Shoguns are unlikely to cause any shocks on the banks of the Dodder. They made a poor start to their league campaign and despite their recent win over Leicester, they won’t feature on many people’s list as possible Heineken Cup winners. But Leinster will.
They too had a poor start to the season culminating with their failure to qualify for the quarter-final of the Celtic League but their worst performances are behind them and against Newport we were given a glimpse of the type of rugby that so thrilled last season.
Leinster Lions. Girvan Dempsey; Denis Hickie, Brian O’Driscoll, Shane Horgan, Gordon D’Arcy, Christian Warner, Brian O’Meara, Reg Corrigan (capt), Shane Byrne, Paul Wallace, Leo Cullen, Malcolm O’Kelly, Aidan McCullen/Des Dillon/Ben Gissing, Keith Gleeson, Victor Costello.
Replacements: Emmet Byrne, Peter Smyth, Aidan Kearney, McCullen/Dillon/Gissing, Brian O’Riordan, David Quinlan, Adam Magro.
Bristol Shoguns. Shane Drahm; David Rees, Martin Shaw, Daryl Gibson, Phil Christophers; Felipe Contepomi, Agustin Pichot; Darren Crompton, Saul Nelson, Emiliano Bergamaschi; Garath Archer (capt), Alex Brown; Craig Short, Michael Lipman, Ben Sturnham.
Replacements. Peter Richards, Matt Carrington, Andrew Higgins, Chris Rowland, Paul Johnstone, Andrew Sheridan/Scott Morgan, Rhys Oakley.