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Preview: Leinster v Glasgow

18th November 2011 12:24


Leinster celeb Eoin OMalley v Saracens Heineken Cup

Rare start: Eoin O'Malley

Leinster have named youngster Eoin O'Malley at number thirteen jersey for Saturday's clash with Glasgow.

With Fergus McFadden ruled out with a dead leg, O'Malley comes in for his third Heineken Cup appearance and the 23-year-old partners Gordon D'Arcy in the centres. Luke Fitzgerald continues alongside Rob Kearney and Isa Nacewa.

Eoin Reddan makes his first start of the season and partners Jonathan Sexton at half-back in a backline which shows two changes from the one which started the opening round 16-16 draw in Montpellier last weekend.

Sean Cronin makes his first Heineken Cup start after an impressive try-scoring display last weekend and he starts in the front-row beside fellow Ireland international Mike Ross and Heinke van der Merwe. Leo Cullen partners Bank of Ireland Player of the Month Devin Toner at centre with Kevin McLaughlin continuing alongside Sean O'Brien and number eight Jamie Heaslip in the back row.

In all there are five Ireland internationals on the bench including the fit again Cian Healy.

Meanwhile, Glasgow will be looking to do what they did against Leinster two months ago this week, claim a sensational success in the RaboDirect PRO12.

Glasgow head coach Sean Lineen acknowledges that forcing a similar result in Sunday's rematch will take a "performance of the very highest standard from every single player", but has called on his men to take confidence from the five-match winning run they now have.

"It was vitally important that we got off to a positive start in the pool against Bath last weekend, and although it took us right until the last minute, we claimed what was a really encouraging result," he told

"Beating a quality English side, and winning the four games before that one, has given the players a level of belief whereby they can travel to a place like Leinster without any fear.

"The task is a huge one - go to the home of the reigning Heineken Cup holders and come away with the sort of result that hardly any visiting team has managed in the past couple of years.

"But we've already shown there this season that we have it in us, and we know that this is an opportunity as well as a massive challenge.

"Both teams will be a fair bit different personnel-wise to the RaboDirect PRO12 game in September, so I expect a different sort of dynamic to the match. Leinster will throw plenty at us, and the players will need to show the same bravery and composure in adversity as was the case against Bath."

Lineen has largely kept faith with the men who delivered a third successive home Heineken Cup success against English opposition.

Two of the three changes to the matchday 23 are injury-enforced, Peter Murchie replacing Rob Dewey (shoulder) at outside centre, and Finlay Gillies coming onto the bench to cover for Dougie Hall, who is suffering from a dead leg.

Loosehead prop Jon Welsh, meanwhile, makes a welcome return as a substitute, having recovered from the ankle injury he sustained on the first night of the RaboDirect PRO12 season away to Ulster.

"It's great to have Jon back in the mix. He's a great asset all over the park, and he, Ryan Grant and Gordon Reid are going to be competing hard for that number 1 jersey over the coming months," commented Lineen.

"I was really happy with the application and courage under fire that the team showed against Bath, and although we didn't create as many scoring opportunities as we'd like, we took our chances well when they came about.

"We go into the Leinster match under no illusions about what lies ahead, but with confidence in ourselves and the game we want to play."

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Isa Nacewa, 13 Eoin O'Malley, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Heinke Van Der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Nathan White, 19 Rhys Ruddock, 20 Shane Jennings, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Fionn Carr.

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Pete Murchie, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Colin Shaw, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Barclay, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Alastair Kellock, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Michael Cusack, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Finlay Gillies, 17 John Welsh, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 Henry Pyrgos, 21 Chris Fusaro, 22 Troy Nathan, 23 Federico Aramburu.

Date: Sunday, November 20
Kick-off: 12:45
Venue: RDS
Referee: Andrew Small (England)

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