The Leinster team to face Edinburgh in Sunday’s Heineken Cup Pool 2 tie at the RDS (kick-off 1pm) has been named.
Bank of Ireland Player of the Month Rob Kearney has been named in a back-line that shows no changes from the side that started last weekend’s loss to Wasps at Twickenham.
There are changes in the pack with Trevor Hogan partnering Devin Toner in the second row and Cian Healy starting at loosehead prop.
Over 17,000 tickets have been sold for Sunday’s crunch clash between the Magners League rivals. Tickets are still on sale from Ticketmaster and from the usual outlets in Donnybrook.
Previewing the game, Leinster coach Michael Cheika said: “One thing that is very important this week is that the team is going in the same direction. The first thing we did at the start of the week was we discussed the situation and we need to win the game, pure and simple.
“If you think about bonus points, that’s the ultimate disrespect to the opposition. Also, there are a number of games before we play so there might not be the same necessity.
“The first thing we need to do is go out there and play really well. Make it a horrible day for them.
“It’s about us feeling it with our crowd behind us, hopefully in front of a full house, because they will be looking to impress ahead of the Six Nations. We’ll try to win the game and go from there,” he added.
Leinster are currently level (on 16 points) with Wasps at the top of Pool 2. They boast a better points scoring difference than their closest rivals and in order to secure quarter-final qualification, they need a better result than Wasps achieve at Castres Olympique.
Simply put, a bonus point win over Edinburgh would see Leinster through to the knock-out stages, no matter how Wasps fare in France.
LEINSTER (v Edinburgh): Rob Kearney; Shane Horgan, Brian O’Driscoll, Felipe Contepomi, Luke Fitzgerald; Isa Nacewa, Chris Whitaker (capt); Cian Healy, Bernard Jackman, Stan Wright, Trevor Hogan, Devin Toner, Rocky Elsom, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: John Fogarty, Ollie Le Roux, Stephen Keogh, Sean O’Brien, Chris Keane, Gordon D’Arcy, Girvan Dempsey.