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Preview: Leinster v Ospreys

13th September 2013 10:34

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SKY_MOBILE Luke Fitzgerald

Fit: Luke Fitzgerald

Luke Fitzgerald has recovered from injury to be named in Leinster's XV to face the Ospreys in Saturday's PRO12 clash at the RDS.

Fitzgerald has shaken off a groin strain which had curtailed his training this week.

With Fergus McFadden (hamstring) unavailable, Brendan Macken continues his midfield partnership with Gordon D'Arcy in an unchanged backline from the side that defeated the Scarlets away last weekend.

Up front, Shane Jennings again leads the side and the forwards are boosted by the inclusion of flank Kevin McLaughlin and hooker Richardt Strauss this weekend in an all-Ireland qualified pack.

Mike McCarthy will make his home debut after appearing as a replacement in Llanelli, while there is also a first start this season for Mike Ross who also featured off the bench.

Ian Madigan has been named amongst the replacements alongside fellow Ireland internationals Isaac Boss, Sean Cronin and Rhys Ruddock.

Meanwhile, Tyler Ardron and Jeff Hassler will make their Ospreys debuts if they come off the bench.

"It was good to get off to a positive start last weekend. We wanted to build some real momentum in the opening weeks of the season and although there's plenty of room for improvement there's a lot to be happy about after a tough game in Italy, said Head Coach Steve Tandy.

"The spirit and effort shown by the boys was fantastic, that was probably the most pleasing thing for me. When we had to dog it out at the end, it was backs to the wall stuff and we came through a very difficult test.

"Looking forward to this weekend, there's been plenty to work on off the back of last Saturday, a few things to put right, but the attitude of the group has been good.

"Leinster away is always tough and we wouldn't expect it to be any different this weekend. They've got strength in depth and whatever team they pick we know that as a team we are going to have to be at our best to be able to build on the win in Treviso and keep the momentum going.

"We want to come back to the Liberty next week to play Edinburgh on the back of another positive performance, so that there will be a real buzz around the Liberty to welcome the boys back for the first home game of the PRO12 season, and a good crowd getting behind the region."

Form: Leinster began the season with an impressive bonus point victory at Parc y Scarlets last Friday, recording a ninth successive victory in all competitions in the process. The Leinstermen's only defeat in their last ten encounters with Welsh Regions was 10-19 at the Ospreys last November. Ospreys opened their account with a 24-19 victory in Treviso on Saturday in what was their third successive away game in this competition. The Welshmen are winless on their last three visits to Ireland. Leinster's 37-19 victory over Ospreys at the RDS in round 22 last season ended a four game losing streak to the Welsh outfit.

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Dave Kearney, 14 Darragh Fanning, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Shane Jennings (c), 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack O'Connell, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Darren Hudson.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Ben John, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Tom Smith (c), 5 James Kingm, 4 Ian Evans, 3 Joe Rees, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Tyler Ardron, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Tom Grabham, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Jeff Hassler.

Date: Saturday, September 14
Venue: RDS Dublin,
Kick-off:18.15 local (17.15 GMT)
Referee: Leighton Hodges (WRU)
Assistant referees: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland), Michael Black (Ireland)
Television match official: Brian Macneice (Ireland)
Assessor: Michael Carroll (Ireland)

  • Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
  • Guinness PRO12 Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , September 14
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
Saturday , September 13
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
Friday , September 12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Edinburgh 13 - 14 ConnachtEdinburgh vs Connacht Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 OspreysNewport Gwent D
Ulster 33 - 13 ZebreUlster vs Zebre Report
Sunday , September 7
Zebre 26 - 41 Cardiff BluesZebre vs Cardiff Blues Report
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets 32 - 32 UlsterScarlets vs Ulster Report
Connacht 16 - 11 Newport Gwent D'gonsConnacht vs Newport Gwent D
Glasgow 22 - 20 Leinster
More Guinness PRO12 results
  • Guinness PRO12 Table
Guinness PRO12 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ospreys29
2Glasgow Warriors28
3Connacht28
4Ulster28
5Leinster26