Shane Horgan will become the first player from a junior club to captain Leinster tomorrow night. The Boyne RFC clubman will lead the team against the Glasgow Warriors (Firhill, kick-off 7.30pm).
This will be the first time in the province’s history that a player from a junior club will captain Leinster at senior level. 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.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s encounter with Glasgow, Leinster and Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman says that the squad are focused on getting back to winning ways at Firhill.
“The focus this week has been on getting back on track. Glasgow are a tough team and while they may not be a glamour side, we know how difficult opponents they can be. They already had a good squad before adding some of the Borders’ players over the summer,” he said.
“Glasgow had a good run in the Challenge Cup and finished above Edinburgh in the Magners League last year, so we know that we will need to be at our best.
“Coming off a defeat like we suffered last week, you can’t just block it out. You don’t just forget about it. You have to be hard on yourself, as we were when analysing the game in the early part of the week. You can then see what you did or didn’t do. It’s now about concentrating on putting in a strong performance and making amends.”
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.