Preview: Glasgow v Leinster

Date published: September 5 2014

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Rob Harley will make his 100th appearance for Glasgow Warriors in their PRO12 opener against Leinster at Scotstoun Stadium.

Flanker Rob Harley will make his 100th appearance for Glasgow in Saturday's Guinness PRO12 opener against Leinster at Scotstoun Stadium.

The Scotland international played in every PRO12 game last season as the Warriors reached the final, with this week's opponents Leinster beating them 34-12 in the showpiece event in May.

Peter Murchie, who has played in both of the pre-season fixtures, continues at full-back, with Tommy Seymour and Lee Jones on either wing.

Mark Bennett and Alex Dunbar form the centre partnership, with Peter Horne at fly-half and Henry Pyrgos in the scrum-half jersey.

Alex Allan makes his competitive debut for the club at loose-head, after joining from Edinburgh, while Fraser Brown has been handed his first start in a Glasgow shirt at hooker. Euan Murray is named at tight-head, after the Scotland prop returned to Glasgow in the summer.

Fijian Leone Nakarawa and Scotland cap Jonny Gray will combine in the engine room.

Harley is at blindside, Chris Fusaro is at openside and Josh Strauss will lead the team from number eight, in the absence of club captain Al Kellock, who is recovering from injury.

Stuart Hogg and Sean Lamont are both included on the Warriors bench after their involvement at the Commonwealth Games in July.

Meanwhile, Isaac Boss is in line to become the first player to represent two Irish provinces 100 times when he lines out for Leinster on Saturday.

After 108 appearances for Ulster, it was against this weekend's opposition Glasgow that he made his debut in September 2010 with an 80 minutes, try scoring display. He went on to play a further 28 times for Leinster in that debut season scoring a further three PRO12 tries and added to a memorable first season with a Heineken Cup medal from the final against Northampton.

This weekend he lines out in the familiar number nine jersey, with Jimmy Gopperth outside him at ten in what is Leinster's first competitive fixture after two pre-season friendlies against Northampton Saints and Ulster.

In the pack, Sean Cronin makes a welcome return after undergoing surgery earlier in the summer, with international colleagues Cian Healy and Mike Ross either side.

In the second-row, Ben Marshall starts his first PRO12 game since February 2013 after an injury ravaged season last year, with Mike McCarthy starting his second season with Leinster Rugby beside him.

Having led the team out last weekend in Tallaght Stadium, Sean O'Brien is once again selected to captain the side from the base of the scrum with Dominic Ryan and Shane Jennings getting the nod at six and seven.

With Boss and Gopperth as the half back partners, the rest of the backline is the same as selected to start against Ulster.

Noel Reid (who in the end didn't play against Ulster) and Brendan Macken start in the centre, hoping to take their end of season B&I Cup form with them into the Guinness PRO12. St Mary's Darragh Fanning starts on the left wing with Fergus McFadden again selected on the right.

Zane Kirchner who scored five tries in his debut season, starts at full-back.

Form: This game sees a meeting of the same protagonists who met in last season's final in Dublin when Leinster stopped Glasgow Warriors' record nine game winning run in the tournament. The Warriors have won their last eight games at Scotstoun in all tournaments since Toulon were the visitors on 18th January. Only one Irish side has won at Scotstoun since November 2012: Munster in October 2013. Reigning champions Leinster have won their last five matches since slipping up at the Ospreys in round 19 last season. This is the seventh successive year that Leinster have begun their Pro12 campaign away from home. The Leinstermen lost on both of their visits to Scotland last season, and did not score a try. Glasgow's only victory in their last ten encounters with Leinster in all tournaments was 12-6 in this equivalent fixture in round 3 last season.

The teams:

Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Peter Horne, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Josh Strauss (capt), 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Alex Allan.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Adam Ashe, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Stuart Hogg, 23 Sean Lamont.

Leinster: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Darragh Fanning, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Sean O'Brien (capt), 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Ben Marshall, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Kevin McLaughlin, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Mick McGrath.

Date: Saturday, September 6
Venue: Scotstoun
Kick-off: 17.15 BST
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Neil Paterson (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)
TMO: Fergus Neil (Scotland)

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