Munster’s bonus point win over the Scarlets means defending champions Leinster are now out of the title race, as they are 16 points behind with three games remaining. But with three of their 2009 Lions on show, Leinster will be determined to put in a big performance against Glasgow ahead of next weekend’s trip to Croke Park.
MAGNERS LEAGUE: Saturday, April 25
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors, The RDS, 7.35pm (live Setanta Sports Ireland/Setanta Sports 2)
Team News: The Leinster team to face the Glasgow Warriors in Saturday’s Magners League clash at the RDS has been named.
Brian O’Driscoll, Luke Fitzgerald and Jamie Heaslip have been named in the Leinster starting line-up for the visit of the Scottish side, though their fellow 2009 Lion Rob Kearney misses the game through illness.
Fitzgerald takes his place on the left wing, while Gordon D’Arcy will partner O’Driscoll at centre.
In the pack, Devin Toner starts at second row and will line up alongside Malcolm O’Kelly.
Wallaby ace Rocky Elsom joins Heaslip in a back row which also includes Shane Jennings, who captains the side.
Leo Cullen is listed amongst a strong set of replacements, which includes the likes of Shane Horgan and Jonathan Sexton.
Meanwhile, back rower Calum Forrester will reach a dozen appearances for Glasgow this weekend when he takes the field for Saturday’s encounter with Leinster.
As he runs out onto the RDS pitch Forrester will be welcomed by and army of Warriors fans from his home club, SHE Premier One champions Ayr, as 20 youngsters and 16 adults soak up the big game atmosphere as part of their Primary 7 Irish tour.
Warriors coach Sean Lineen said: “Calum came off the bench last week against Ulster and played very well so I’m keen to give him his chance.
“We also have adequate back-up in James Eddie who has been impressive since his return from injury.
“It’s also a massive opportunity for young Richie Gray on the bench as he has had a great season for the Scotland Under-20s. He’s impressed me with his attitude and I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s got at this level.”
LEINSTER: Girvan Dempsey; Isa Nacewa, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald; Felipe Contepomi, Chris Whitaker; Cian Healy, Bernard Jackman, Stan Wright, Devin Toner, Malcolm O’Kelly, Rocky Elsom, Shane Jennings (capt), Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: John Fogarty, Ronan McCormack, Leo Cullen, Sean O’Brien, Chris Keane, Jonathan Sexton, Shane Horgan.
GLASGOW WARRIORS: Bernardo Stortoni; Lome Fa’atau, Max Evans, Graeme Morrison, Thom Evans; Ruaridh Jackson, Mark McMillan; Kevin Tkachuk, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Tim Barker, Alastair Kellock (capt), Calum Forrester, John Barclay, Kelly Brown.
Replacements: Fergus Thomson, Justin Va’a, Richie Gray, James Eddie, Colin Gregor, Andrew Henderson, Hefin O’Hare.
Referee: James Jones (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Colin Stanley, Leo Colgan (both Ireland)
Television Match Official: John Carvill (Ireland)
Match Odds (Paddy Power): Leinster to win: 1/14; Draw: 25/1; Glasgow Warriors to win: 6/1
Say What: Jono Gibbes (Leinster) – “We needed to rest a few of the players after the Harlequins game, with the short turnaround and physically they were very sore after a bruising encounter.
“I think that the week’s rest has done the players (who missed the Edinburgh game) well.
“In the first two training sessions of the week they have been jumping out of their skins and they’re pretty excited about playing in the RDS again this weekend.
“Glasgow are a tough, physical team. They have pace and power all over the park and I have no doubt that they will come over to Dublin with a lot of confidence.
“They certainly gave us a big test over in Firhill earlier in the season and we know that we will have to be on top of our game to get a result.
“The squad are determined to get back to winning ways. It’s vital that we build momentum over the next few weeks and we’re not giving up on the Magners League title.”
Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors) – “If you want me to be honest, then I’d say there might be better times to face Leinster.
“But the other side of that is that there is not a better time to beat them than when they are expected to win, and maybe even expect to win, and there’s no doubt this would be a big scalp at this moment in time to add to the others we’ve taken this season.”
Top Scorers: 2008/09 Magners League – Points: Leinster: Felipe Contepomi 150; Glasgow Warriors: Dan Parks 117; Tries: Leinster: Luke Fitzgerald 5; Glasgow Warriors: Thom Evans 9
RECENT LEAGUE MEETINGS:
Sunday, May 7, 2006 – Glasgow Warriors 18 Leinster 21, Firhill Arena
Friday, November 10, 2006 – Leinster 38 Glasgow Warriors 23, Donnybrook
Friday, April 6, 2007 – Glasgow Warriors 26 Leinster 20, Hughenden
Friday, October 12, 2007 – Glasgow Warriors 21 Leinster 17, Firhill Arena
Friday, March 21, 2008 – Leinster 34 Glasgow Warriors 18, The RDS
Friday, October 24, 2008 – Glasgow Warriors 15 Leinster 12, Firhill Arena
– Leinster have lost back-to-back matches in the Magners League at Munster and at Edinburgh
– The reigning league champions have lost just one of their last 20 games at the RDS – an 18-0 defeat to Munster in the league on September 28
– Glasgow Warriors have won just one of their last five matches in the Magners League, a 38-21 triumph at the Scarlets on April 4. The Warriors have lost on all three previous visits to Ireland this season
– No Scottish side has ever won at the RDS. The last victory by a team from Scotland on Leinster soil in the Magners League was a 27-13 win by Edinburgh at Donnybrook on November 6, 2005