Planet Rugby

Preview: Ospreys v Leinster

11th October 2013 11:48

Share:

Gordon D Arcy for Leinster

Big clash: Ospreys v Leinster

Leinster have named Jimmy Gopperth at fly-half as they begin their Heineken Cup campaign on the road against the Ospreys in Swansea on Saturday.

Gopperth, who plays his first European game for the province, is joined by Ireland international scrum-half Isaac Boss in the half-back positions.

It's a case of youth and experience at centre where Leinster's most capped player Gordon D'Arcy (who is set to make his 226th appearance) will partner European debutant Brendan Macken, who starts at thirteen in what will also be the 22-year-old's fifth appearance of the season.

Dave Kearney and Fergus McFadden will be joined in a strong back three by Rob Kearney, who makes his 135th outing in Leinster colours.

The pack is unchanged from the one that started last weekend with Jamie Heaslip once more leading the team and he will be flanked in the back-row once more by Kevin McLaughlin and Sean O'Brien. Cian Healy will once more partner fellow Ireland front-rowers Sean Cronin and Mike Ross, with Devin Toner locking down alongside Mike McCarthy.

Incidentally, Ireland duo McLaughlin and McFadden will both be making their 99 career appearances for their home province in Swansea.

Meanwhile, the Ospreys have named Ben John on the right wing while blindside flanker Ryan Jones returns to the side in place of Canadian duo Jeff Hassler and Tyler Ardron.

Dan Biggar and Tito Tebaldi continue in the half-backs as do Ashley Beck and Andrew Bishop at centre while there are four British and Irish Lions tourists named in their pack.

"It's been a good preparation week for us and we're all really looking forward to Saturday as a group," said head coach Steve Tandy.

"It's an exciting time for anybody involved with rugby, as a player, coach or supporter, as the Heineken Cup always brings with it great contests, excitement and drama, and we are itching to get started.

"We know what Leinster will bring to us as familiar foes from the PRO12 but you can't underestimate what they have achieved in Europe over the last five years. They've got a fantastic record and have quality right through the squad, including five 2013 Lions. It really doesn't get much tougher."

The teams:

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 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 James King, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Tyler Ardron, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Jeff Hassler.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip (capt), 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Luke Fitzgerald.

Date: Saturday, October 12
Kick-off: 18:00 BST
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Roger Whitfield (England), Paul Dix (England)
Television match official: Geoff Warren (England)
Timekeeper: David Hudson (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs SaracensBath vs Saracens Preview
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand17:05
Argentina vs Australia19:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff BluesConnacht vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Ulster vs EdinburghUlster vs Edinburgh Preview
Zebre vs OspreysZebre vs Ospreys Preview
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs ToulonOyonnax vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Sharks vs LionsSharks vs Lions Preview
Pumas vs Blue BullsPumas vs Blue Bulls Preview
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , October 2
Auckland 60 - 19 WaikatoAuckland vs Waikato Report
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411