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McGrath Leads Leinster For Glasgow Trip

McGrath Leads Leinster For Glasgow Trip

Scrum half Luke McGrath will captain Leinster for their fifth round trip to Glasgow ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Luke McGrath will captain Leinster, on the occasion of his 150th provincial cap, as they resume their Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup campaign away to Glasgow Warriors.

For the 8.15pm kick-off at Scotstoun Stadium, head coach Leo Cullen has made seven personnel changes and one positional switch to the team that won 21-17 against Ulster last time out.

Hugo Keenan returns at full-back with Jimmy O’Brien switching to the left wing, and there is a start on the right side for Tommy O’Brien, the former Ireland Under-20 captain.

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Garry Ringrose is joined in midfield by Rory O’Loughlin, while Luke McGrath, who captains the province as he hits the 150-cap mark, and Ross Byrne pair up again at half-back.

A completely new front row features Ed Byrne, Ronan Kelleher and the soon-to-be-retired Michael Bent. James Ryan’s lock partner this week is Ross Molony.

Cullen’s men, who trail Rainbow Cup leaders Benetton Rugby by 10 points with two rounds remaining, have an unchanged back row of Josh Murphy, Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris.

Assistant coach Robin McBryde commented: “It’s a great challenge for us as a group, to be heading to Glasgow. It’s still an opportunity for silverware, it’s a must-win game for both teams.

“So, it’s a big challenge mentally to go there and front up. No excuses. We’ve got to do the same the following week when we welcome 1,200 supporters back and that’s great motivation for us as well.

“Some of the Lions boys want to give a good account of themselves, some of the other boys want to put their hands up for international honours in the summer. There’s plenty to play for when you look for it.”

LEINSTER (v Glasgow Warriors): Hugo Keenan; Tommy O’Brien, Garry Ringrose, Rory O’Loughlin, Jimmy O’Brien; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath (capt); Ed Byrne, Ronan Kelleher, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, James Ryan, Josh Murphy, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Peter Dooley, Andrew Porter, Ryan Baird, Scott Penny, Rowan Osborne, Jordan Larmour, Cian Kelleher.