If the Celtic League organisers were looking for a game to capture the imagination of the rugby fraternity, they couldn’t have asked for a better opener than what’s on offer in Donnybrook
If the Celtic League organisers were looking for a game to capture the imagination of the rugby fraternity, they couldn’t have asked for a better opener than what’s on offer in Donnybrook this evening when the Leinster Lions front up to their great rivals, Munster.
It’s a game that not only brings together the side who hold the trophy and the one that held it, it also pitches the coaching skills of Gary Ella against those of his Australian mentor Alan Gaffney. And if the Dublin rugby public needed more reason to fill Donnybrook, then the presence of internationals such as Gordon D’Arcy, Brian O’Meara, Emmet Byrne, Leo Cullen, Keith Gleeson, Frank Sheahan, Donncha O’Callaghan, Alan Quinlan, and Anthony Foley, plus the burgeoning talent of Brendan Burke, Kieran Lewis, Jeremy Staunton and Eoin Reddan should ensure a high entertainment level on the pitch by the Dodder.
Perhaps one of the most eagerly contested battles will be the one between the young tyros in the second row, Leo Cullen and Donncha O’Callaghan. Specualtion has been rife with regard to which of these players will end up in Eddie O’Sullivan’s RWC squad when it is announced on Sunday morning and if that decision has not already been made then tonight’s game will go a long way to deciding the issue.
Connacht open their Celtic League campaign on Saturday when they entertain Edinburgh Rugby at the Galway Sportsground in a game which kicks-off at 4pm. Mark McHugh, Eric Elwood and Bernard Jackman who all missed the warm-up game against Munster are included in the starting line-up.