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Magners Preview: Leinster v Borders

Magners Preview: Leinster v Borders

It is second against eleventh at Donnybrook on Saturday night as Leinster bid to return to winning ways in the Magners League and give their old Dublin home a fitting send-off before redevelopment work begins at the ground.

MAGNERS LEAGUE: Saturday, May 5

LEINSTER (2nd) v BORDER REIVERS (11th), Donnybrook, 7.30pm (live Setanta Sports Ireland)

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Team News: Leinster have named their team for their final game at Donnybrook before the ground’s redevelopment begins.

Guy Easterby starts at scrum half and is joined by fellow retirees Reggie Corrigan and Will Green for Leinster’s final home match of the season.

Easterby partners Felipe Contepomi at half-back with the Argentinian set to captain the side. In the pack, Corrigan and Green are joined by Bernard Jackman who impressed as a second half substitute in last week’s defeat to the Ospreys.

Denis Hickie and Shane Horgan will be given every opportunity to prove their fitness after picking up knocks last weekend. The final selection decisions on the Ireland duo will be confirmed closer to kick off.

Meanwhile, Border Reivers travel over having made nine changes, two positional, to the team that faced Cardiff Blues last Friday night at Netherdale.

Among the seven new additions to the starting line-up is utility back Calum MacRae who has recovered from a foot injury in time to captain the Scottish side.

As well as the introduction of MacRae to the centre, Steve Jones and Rob Chrystie will team up at half-back. In the pack, Steve Scott replaces Ross Ford at hooker, while Bruce Douglas comes in for Ed Kalman at tighthead prop.

Samoan international Opeta Palepoi switches from the back row to lock, teaming up with Stuart Grimes, while Scott Gray and Andy Miller start in the back row alongside Kelly Brown who returns at number eight.

Leinster: Girvan Dempsey; Rob Kearney, Shane Horgan/Kieran Lewis, Gordon D’Arcy, Denis Hickie/Luke Fitzgerald; Felipe Contepomi (capt), Guy Easterby; Reggie Corrigan, Bernard Jackman, Will Green, Trevor Hogan, Malcolm O’Kelly, Stephen Keogh, Keith Gleeson, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Brian Blaney, Stan Wright/Cian Healy, Owen Finegan, Cameron Jowitt/Sean O’Brien, Chris Whitaker, Christian Warner, Luke Fitzgerald/Kieran Lewis.

Border Reivers: Stuart Moffat; Dougie Flockhart, Garry Law, Calum MacRae (capt), Nick De Luca; Steve Jones, Rob Chrystie; Gavin Kerr, Steve Scott, Bruce Douglas, Stuart Grimes, Opeta Palepoi, Scott Gray, Andy Miller, Kelly Brown.

Replacements: Sean Crombie, Ed Kalman, Craig Hamilton, John Dalziel, Brendan McKerchar, Gregor Townsend, Bryan Rennie.

Referee: Hugh Watkins (Wales)
Touch Judges: Ger English, Peter Roche (both Ireland)

Team League Statistics: Leinster: Top Points Scorer – Felipe Contepomi 172 (3 tries, 32 conversions and 31 penalty goals); Top Try Scorers – Jamie Heaslip, Denis Hickie 6 each

Border Reivers: Top Points Scorer – Calum MacRae 68 (4 conversions and 20 penalty goals); Top Try Scorers – Kelly Brown, Simon Danielli 3 each

Previous League Meetings:

September 27, 2002 – Border Reivers 23 Leinster 18, Netherdale
October 24, 2003 – Border Reivers 21 Leinster 26, Netherdale
March 26, 2004 – Leinster 35 Border Reivers 12, Donnybrook
September 24, 2004 – Leinster 50 Border Reivers 13, Donnybrook
January 22, 2005 – Border Reivers 29 Leinster 16, Netherdale
January 27, 2006 – Leinster 62 Border Reivers 14, Donnybrook
April 7, 2006 – Border Reivers 34 Leinster 35, Netherdale
October 13, 2006 – Border Reivers 22 Leinster 19, Netherdale

Match Facts:

– Should Leinster win this game, they will set a new record for successive home victories in the history of the league – 15

– However, Leinster have won just one of their last three matches in the Magners League, a 23-22 triumph over the Dragons at Rodney Parade on April 13

– Border Reivers have slipped to three straight defeats and have not won in Ireland since they recorded a 17-15 victory against Connacht at the Sportsground on September 24, 2005

– The Reivers are going for their first ever season’s double over Leinster, having beaten Michael Cheika’s side 22-19 at Netherdale on October 13 last