The Leinster squad to face Glasgow Warriors in Thursday night’s Magners League clash at the RDS (kick-off 7.30pm) has been named.
Isa Nacewa and CJ van der Linde have been named in a strong Leinster panel which includes Ireland internationals Girvan Dempsey, Trevor Hogan, Shane Horgan, Bernard Jackman, Kevin McLaughlin, Malcolm O’Kelly and Mike Ross, with Jackman set to captain the side.
Fergus McFadden, who scored 21 points in the recent away victory over the Cardiff Blues, joins the likes of Paul Ryan and Eoin Sheriff who are both rewarded for showing good recent form in the British & Irish Cup.
The team and replacements will be confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s game, Leinster defence coach Kurt McQuilkin said that the squad are determined to maintain pole position in the Magners League against a vastly improved Glasgow side.
“We were pleased with our performance against Cardiff and the boys put their shoulders to the wheel,” he said.
“Under spells of intense pressure they stuck to their task last time out and some of the fringe players really stepped up to the mark.
“With players like (Xavier) Rush, (Ben) Blair, (Tom) Shanklin and (Casey) Laulala in their ranks they had a seriously talented team on paper, so it was no mean feat to go there and win.
“The attitude and the discipline that was displayed was hugely satisfying ahead of a busy period ahead and hopefully it will be a sign of things to come.
“It’s critical that we maintain our form in the Magners League and players keep on staking their claims for selection. Glasgow have really improved over the last few seasons and they are always difficult opponents to face.
“We will also need to be mindful that they won’t have been pleased with their last two outings, where they got a win and a draw, because they’re a club with high ambitions of winning the Magners League this year.
“They have a good loose forward trio and they’re always good on the ground. Out wide they also have devastating backs, like (Bernardo) Stortoni, who can really hurt you.”
McQuilkin added: “Thursday’s game is an important one for us and I know that the supporters will play their part again.
“Playing in front of packed RDS inspires the players and the energy that comes from the stands gives the players an added lift.
“To have players like Eoin O’Malley and Fergus McFadden taking their chances is pleasing and there are others, like Stephen Keogh in the pack who have really impressed in our recent wins over the Scarlets and Cardiff.
“Being on top of the Magners League brings about its own pressure and expectation and the players are self critical and demand an enormous amount of themselves, so hopefully that (attitude) bodes well.”
Meanwhile, almost 13,500 tickets have now sold for the Leinster v Glasgow clash and tickets are still available to purchase here and from usual outlets in Donnybrook.
Ticketmaster outlets nationwide also have tickets on sale and will be selling tickets outside the RDS from 5pm this Thursday. Please note that all tickets issued for this original fixture date of January 8 are still valid.
LEINSTER Squad (v Glasgow Warriors) – Backs (11): Shaun Berne, Girvan Dempsey, Shane Horgan, Chris Keane, David Kearney, Simon Keogh, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden, Isa Nacewa, Paul O’Donohoe, Eoin O’Malley.
Forwards (14): John Fogarty, Trevor Hogan, Bernard Jackman, Stephen Keogh, Ronan McCormack, Kevin McLaughlin, Malcolm O’Kelly, Mike Ross, Paul Ryan, Eoin Sheriff, Richardt Strauss, Devin Toner, CJ van der Linde, Stan Wright.