Planet Rugby

Preview: Leinster v Castres

18th October 2013 11:25

Share:

Jimmy Gopperth of Leinster Heineken Cup

Starting for Leinster: Jimmy Gopperth

Leinster will look to build upon a good away victory over the Ospreys as they host Castres in Heineken Cup Pool 1 on Saturday.

The Irish side welcome the Top 14 champions to The Greenyards knowing that a win would see them take command of the group after the opening two fixtures.

Leinster have enjoyed a solid start to their Pro12 campaign, despite perhaps lacking the all-conquering force of several years ago. Away defeats to Munster and Glasgow Warriors mark the only blots on the champions' copybook, and they currently sit fifth in the table.

Pool 1 has been christened the "pool of death" with good reason. With victory over the French outfit on Saturday, Leinster could build an important lead at the top of the group a third of the way through the pool fixtures.

Castres overcame Saints by a narrow six-point margin at Stade Pierre-Antoine on Saturday, sitting level on points with their hosts going into the second round of games.

Their league form at home has been excellent, winning all of their games, including impressive victories over Heineken Cup champions Toulon, Stade Francais and Racing Metro.

However, they have struggled on the road thus far, most recently succumbing to a heavy 34-0 defeat at Brive, as well as going down to Bordeaux-Begles and newly-promoted Oyonnax.

Likewise, a Dublin triumph for the visitors would see them take up a solid position in what is sure to be a very tight group.

The two sides met at the pool stages in 2008 - each winning at home but Leinster ran-out emphatic 33-3 winners in Dublin.

Castres have won just two of their last 21 away games in the Heineken Cup and in Ireland, they have lost all seven of their games.

In team news, Leinster have opted not to include Springbok full-back Zane Kirchner, who arrived in Dublin this week.

The battle for the fly-half jersey between Ian Madigan and new signing Jimmy Gopperth intensifies following the latter's excellent performance at the Liberty Stadium and the Kiwi starts again in an unchanged backline.

Ireland duo Fergus McFadden and Kevin McLaughlin will both make their landmark 100th appearances for the province in Saturday's game.

There is one change to the starting line up from the side that defeated the Ospreys last weekend with Martin Moore set to make his first Heineken Cup start in the front row after appearing as a replacement in Swansea last weekend in place of the injured Mike Ross (hamstring) who is close to regaining full fitness.

Michael Bent has recovered from injury to take his place on the replacements bench alongside four other Ireland internationals.

Castres have made two changes to the side that beat Northampton last week as French international full-back Brice Dulin returns while formers Springbok Pedrie Wannenburg comes into the back row.

The teams:

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 Martin Moore, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Luke Fitzgerald,

Castres Olympique: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Romain Martial, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Maxwell Evans, 10 Remi Tales (capt), 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Pedrie Wannenburg, 6 Jannie Bornman, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Mihaita Lazar.
Replacements: 16 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 17 Karena Wihongi, 18 Saimone Taumoepeau, 19 Christophe Samson, 20 Ibrahim Diarra, 21 Julien Tomas, 22 Geoffrey Palis, 23 Daniel Kirkpatrick,

Date: Saturday, October 19
Venue: RDS, Dublin
Kick-off: 15:40 BST (14.40 GMT)
Referee: Greg Garner

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs SaracensMunster vs Saracens Preview
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Preview
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London IrishGrenoble vs London Irish Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs Lions17:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs Tasman19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615