Impressive as a replacement against London Wasps last weekend, Jonathan Sexton has been included in the Leinster starting line-up for Friday’s Magners League meeting with Glasgow Warriors (Firhill Arena, kick-off 7.30pm).
As the province look to get their Magners League title defence back on track, Sexton starts at out-half with Felipe Contepomi partnering Luke Fitzgerald at centre.
In the pack, Devin Toner starts in the second row alongside Malcolm O’Kelly with hooker John Fogarty coming into the front row alongside Cian Healy and Stan Wright.
Girvan Dempsey is a doubt at full-back due to illness and a decision on his availability will be made closer to kick off. Should he miss out, Gary Brown will take his place.
Previewing the game, Leinster coach Michael Cheika said: “It’s important that we always try to play our best, but particularly at this time of year and that’s maybe something that we haven’t done as well in the past.
“We will really need to be on song if we’re going to win our next game.
“We have two massive games in the Magners League before we play Castres in December back-to-back so it’s vital that we pick up points, starting this Friday.
“All in all we’re happy enough with how things are going, but there are some bumps and bruises to contend with.
“We need to win to claw our way back into contention (in the league) and it’s going to take a squad effort.
“We lost in the last minute up there (in Glasgow) last year and we know that it’s going to be a big game for us,” he added.
“We’re going to put everything into context, understand exactly where we are at this stage of the season and push on and improve.”
LEINSTER (v Glasgow Warriors): Girvan Dempsey/Gary Brown; Shane Horgan, Luke Fitzgerald, Felipe Contepomi, Rob Kearney; Jonathan Sexton, Chris Whitaker (capt); Cian Healy, John Fogarty, Stan Wright, Devin Toner, Malcolm O’Kelly, Rocky Elsom, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip
Replacements (from): Brian Blaney, CJ Van Der Linde, Trevor Hogan, Stephen Keogh, Sean O’Brien, Chris Keane, Gary Brown, Simon Keogh.