Planet Rugby

Preview: Edinburgh v Leinster

03rd January 2013 12:39

Share:

Rob Kearney Cian Healy Leinster Heineken Cup semi-final v Clermont

Rob Kearney: Back from injury

Luke Fitzgerald, Rob Kearney and Brian O'Driscoll have recovered from injury and included in Leinster's starting XV to face Edinburgh in their PRO12 clash at Murrayfield on Friday.

Kearney - who will make his 122nd appearance for the province - is named in a pacy-looking back three alongside Fitzgerald and Fionn Carr, with O'Driscoll linking up in midfield with Gordon D'Arcy.

Eoin Reddan, who is set to make his 75th Leinster appearance, partners Jonathan Sexton at half back.

Leo Cullen leads an all Ireland qualified starting XV which includes the likes of Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip and Sean O'Brien in the pack.

Shane Jennings has recovered from illness to take his place on the replacements bench alongside fellow Ireland internationals Michael Bent and Isaac Boss.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh view the match as the first opportunity for them to atone for a tough end to 2012, which saw them endure four losses in all competitions.

The one change to their back-line sees Kiwi centre Ben Atiga start his first match since injuring his knee in October, to partner Matt Scott in midfield.

Willem Nel has recovered from the hamstring strain that ruled him out of last weekend's loss to Glasgow Warriors, and is preferred to Geoff Cross at tight-head prop in an otherwise unchanged tight-five.

Stuart McInally returns to the fold on the blind-side flank with David Denton [pictured] offered a start at number 8, the position at which he has earned all nine of his Scotland caps to date.

The introduction of Georgian internationalist, Dimitri Basilaia, completes a phyiscal, ball-carrying back-row, with his second start since arriving at the club in the summer.

Head coach, Michael Bradley knows a difficult task awaits his troops.

"The competitiveness of the PRO12 is exceptional, and there are few tougher challenges than hosting the current European champions," he said.

"However, while we have a lot of respect of Leinster, we don't fear them and we are fully focused on kick starting the New Year at home after a tough December.

"We ran them close in Dublin earlier in the season and are looking forward to having another crack at them at home tomorrow night at Murrayfield."

Form: Edinburgh have lost their last four matches in all competitions, whilst their only victory in their last six matches at Murrayfield was 23-13 over Ospreys in the PRO12 on 23 November. Leinster's three game losing run in all tournaments ended with their 17-0 victory over Connacht at the RDS on Saturday evening. The Leinstermen have not been defeated by a Scottish side since Glasgow Warriors beat them 23-19 at the RDS on 17 September 2011. Leinster have won their last four encounters with Edinburgh, and have won on three of their last four visits to Murrayfield, including the 2009 European Cup final triumph over Leicester.

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 David Denton, 7 Dimitri Basilaia, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Andy Titterrell, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Steven Lawrie, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Perry Parker, 20 Netani Talei, 21 Richie Rees, 22 James King, 23 Sep Visser.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fionn Carr, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan,8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen (c) 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Shane Jennings, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Andrew Conway.

Date: Friday, January 4
Kick-off: 19:35
Venue: Murrayfield
Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)
Assistant referees: Peter Allan, Bob Nevins (both SRU)
Television match official: Jim Yuille (SRU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs WaspsExeter vs Wasps Preview
London Irish vs BathLondon Irish vs Bath Preview
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Preview
Scotland vs TongaScotland vs Tonga Preview
Romania vs CanadaRomania vs Canada Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
More LV= Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720