Leinster will hope to make the most of back-to-back home matches in the RaboDirect PRO12 as they welcome Glasgow Warriors to the RDS eight days after they put 31 points on the Newport Gwent Dragons.
RABODIRECT PRO12: Saturday, September 17
LEINSTER (8th) v GLASGOW WARRIORS (11th), the RDS, 6pm
Team News: The Leinster team to face the Glasgow Warriors in Saturday evening’s RaboDirect PRO12 encounter in the RDS has been named.
Luke Fitzgerald takes his place at inside centre alongside Eoin O’Malley who moves to outside centre for the visit of Glasgow.
Fionn Carr and Ian Madigan, who both touched down in the 31-10 victory over the Newport Gwent Dragons last weekend, continue in a back-line which also includes Isa Nacewa and Cillian Willis.
In the pack, Leo Auva’a makes his first start for the province at number 8 after appearing twice off the bench so far this season. He joins Dominic Ryan and stand-in captain Rhys Ruddock in a strong-running back row.
Damian Browne has been named on the replacements bench alongside Leinster Academy back rower Jordi Murphy and new prop Nathan White, who could both be in line for their debut appearances.
Over 14,450 tickets have been sold for Saturday’s game which will see the usual ‘Family Day’ activities.
Tickets are still available online at www.leinsterrugby.ie, and from Spar (Donnybrook), the Leinster Rugby Store and Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. Tickets will also be on sale around the ground on match night.
Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors head coach Sean Lineen has made four changes to his starting line-up for this match in Dublin.
Former Melrose captain Scott Wight, on-loan Ospreys back rower Rory Pitman and Scottish Rugby Elite Development player Finlay Gillies will make their first competitive starts for the club at out-half, number 8 and hooker respectively.
Ed Kalman, meanwhile, comes in for Mike Cusack at tight head prop. Lineen said: “All four guys have worked hard to earn an opportunity to show what they can do in a starting role.”
LEINSTER: Isa Nacewa; Fionn Carr, Eoin O’Malley, Luke Fitzgerald, David Kearney; Ian Madigan, Cillian Willis; Heinke van der Merwe, Richardt Strauss, Jamie Hagan, Kevin McLaughlin, Devin Toner, Rhys Ruddock (capt), Dominic Ryan, Leo Auva’a.
Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Jack McGrath, Nathan White, Damian Browne, Jordi Murphy, John Cooney, Brendan Macken, Darren Hudson.
GLASGOW WARRIORS: Stuart Hogg; Federico Aramburu, Rob Dewey, Troy Nathan, Colin Shaw; Scott Wight, Henry Pyrgos; Ryan Grant, Finlay Gillies, Ed Kalman, Tom Ryder, Nick Campbell, Rob Harley (capt), Chris Fusaro, Rory Pitman.
Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Gordon Reid, Mike Cusack, James Eddie, Duncan Weir, Ryan Wilson, Colin Gregor, Peter Horne.
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: John Lacey, Trevor Collins (both Ireland)
Match Odds (Paddy Power): Leinster to win: 1/50; Draw: 35/1; Glasgow Warriors to win: 11/1
Pre-Match Quotes: David Kearney (Leinster) – “At this time of the year we are a young side, relatively speaking, compared to when all of the senior guys are around. And I know from experience that even when you have a core group of less experienced players, there’s still an onus on us all to carry through what playing for the jersey is all about.
“Our performance against the Ospreys in the opening round was one of our worst performances in recent memory, but last week was a little bit better. That was pleasing because we needed a reaction after what had happened against the Ospreys.
“So when you look at it broadly, age shouldn’t come into it, simple mistakes or sloppy play are not what we’re about, regardless of who is wearing the Leinster jersey.
“I think that we’re moving in the right direction, but we also know that we have to step it up another gear against Glasgow.
“Joe (Schmidt) says that the more experienced players have to step up at this time of year and with a bit more experience under my belt compared to others in the squad it’s nice to have that extra pressure and responsibility.”
Sean Lineen (Glasgow Warriors) – “This is another huge challenge for us, to go to the home of the Heineken Cup holders and look to do something we’ve never done before, but it’s an opportunity the players relish.
“We know we’re going to be facing Leinster a good number of times over the course of the season, and although every game is different, it’s important we set our stall out and deliver the sort of performance and result we need to kickstart our campaign.
“As with Ulster on the first weekend of the RaboDirect PRO12, we feel pretty strongly that it was our own errors that did for us against Munster last Friday night.
“We made a number of frustrating mistakes and then allowed them to play the game the way they wanted to in the second half.
“We know that every error is likely to be punished by a side like Leinster, so it’s about being accurate and purposeful in everything we do, and also being sharp enough to capitalise on their mistakes.
“The three times we’ve beaten them at home in the last couple of years, we’ve brought all those qualities to the table, so we know it’s something we can do if we perform to the same level.”
Top Scorers – 2011/12 RaboDirect PRO12: Leinster – Points: Isa Nacewa 16; Tries: Brendan Macken, Ian Madigan, Fionn Carr 1 each; Glasgow Warriors – Points: Duncan Weir 21; Tries: Troy Nathan 1
RECENT LEAGUE MEETINGS:
Friday, October 24, 2008 – Glasgow Warriors 15 Leinster 12, Firhill Stadium
Saturday, April 25, 2009 – Leinster 36 Glasgow Warriors 13, the RDS
Thursday, March 18, 2010 – Leinster 20 Glasgow Warriors 14, the RDS
Friday, April 23, 2010 – Glasgow Warriors 30 Leinster 6, Firhill Stadium
Friday, September 3, 2010 – Glasgow Warriors 22 Leinster 19, Firhill Stadium
Friday, May 6, 2011 – Leinster 38 Glasgow Warriors 3, the RDS
– Leinster have won their last 28 home matches in all competitions since a London Irish victory at the RDS in the Heineken Cup in October 2009
– The Leinstermen beat the Dragons 31-10 at the RDS last Friday evening in the RaboDirect PRO12
– Leinster’s last seven games against Scottish opponents have all been won by the home team on the day
– Glasgow Warriors have not gained a single league point since their 19-16 defeat in Treviso in mid-April. The Warriors’ only away win in the competition since May 2010 came at Aironi (17-16) on April 2
– The last ten matches between the two sides have all been won by the home side on the day, while Glasgow have never won in 13 previous visits to Leinster in all competitions