Preview: Leinster v Edinburgh

06th Dec 2007, 13:53

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Look Out: Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll will face Edinburgh

Look Out: Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll will face Edinburgh

Leinster have been boosted by the return of skipper Brian O¿Driscoll for Friday's crucial Heineken Cup clash with Edinburgh at RDS in Dublin.


Leinster have been boosted by the return of skipper Brian O'Driscoll for Friday's crucial Heineken Cup clash with Edinburgh at RDS in Dublin.

The Irish province were beaten by Toulouse in Round Two but last week's historic Magners League win over Munster in Cork will have stoked home fires.

There is one change in the pack from the one that started against Munster - Keith Gleeson start in the back-row alongside Stephen Keogh and Jamie Heaslip.

The backline is unchanged, which means that Shane Horgan continues the back-three combination alongside Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney, who starts again at full-back.

Elsewhere, South African prop Stephen Knoop return to the bench alongside the likes of Shane Jennings and Jonathan Sexton.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh coach Andy Robinson recorded his first win in charge last weekend in the Magners League against Llanelli Scarlets and will need another impressive display if the Scottish outfit are to keep their slim qualification hopes alive.

Ross Rennie and Phil Godman retain their places in Edinburgh's starting line-up after their recent form saw them included in Scotland's training squad.

John Houston returns on the left wing after recovering from two dead legs, but Hugo Southwell is still out with an ankle injury while Simon Webster is closing in on a first team return.

The only other change to the squad that won in Ulster sees Calum MacRae called up amongst the replacements after missing the first ten games of the season with an ankle injury.

Form: This is the fifth meeting between the sides in the competition, with Leinster having recorded three wins and a draw.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Felipe Contepomi, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Keith Gleeson, 6 Stephen Keogh, 3 Stan Wright, 5 Malcolm O'Kelly, 4 Leo Cullen, 2 Bernard Jackman, 1 Ollie le Roux.
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Stephen Knoop, 18 Cameron Jowitt, 19 Shane Jennings, 20 Chris Keane, 21 Jonathan Sexton, 22 Gary Brown.

Edinburgh: 15 Ben Cairns, 14 Andrew Turnbull, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Dey, 11 John Houston, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair (captain), 8 David Callam, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Roland Reid, 5 Ben Gissing, 4 Matt Mustchin, 3 Gavin Kerr, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Augusto Allori, 18 Craig Hamilton, 19 Simon Cross, 20 Ben Meyer, 21 David Blair, 22 Calum MacRae.

Date: Friday, 7 December
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Venue: RDS, Dublin
Referee: Joël Jutge (France)
Touch judges: Jean-Luc Rebollal (France), Patric Dellac (France)
Television match official: Daniel Gillet (France)