Planet Rugby

Preview: Leinster v Northampton Saints

11th December 2013 09:30

Share:

Luke Fitzgerald of Leinster v Saints

Leading try scorer: Luke Fitzgerald

Leinster coach Matt O'Connor has selected an unchanged line-up from the one that started last weekend's win at Franklin's Gardens.

Jamie Heaslip leads an all-Ireland team for the return visit of Northampton.

Mike McCarthy continues his second row partnership with Devin Toner and the Moynalvey man is set to make his 31st Heineken Cup appearance.

The second half try scored by Brian O'Driscoll, who picked up the man of the match award in Round 3, took him to 33 on the all-time European top try-scorers list and is now just two behind Toulouse's Vincent Clerc.

O'Driscoll continues his centre partnership with Gordon D'Arcy, with Luke Fitzgerald (whose hat-trick of tries last weekend pushed him to the top of this year's competition tally) continuing in the back three alongside Dundalk duo Dave and Rob Kearney.

Eoin Reddan partners Ian Madigan, who makes his 90th Leinster appearance, at half back.

Leo Cullen, Shane Jennings and Zane Kirchner are named on an experienced looking bench.

Meanwhile, the Northampton Saints team that heads to Leinster this weekend shows three changes from that which started last Saturday.

Saints will play at the Aviva Stadium for the first time on Saturday evening, with Salesi Ma'afu, Christian Day and Calum Clark all returning to the starting XV for the clash with the three-time Heineken Cup champions.

Ma'afu has recovered from the foot injury which kept him out of last weekend's game, while Day and Clark come in for Sam Dickinson and Phil Dowson, who drop to the bench.

They will be joined by Kahn Fotuali'i, who comes into the match day squad in place of Ryan Glynn.

The 40-7 hammering Northampton received last weekend was their joint-biggest defeat in the competition - equalling their 33-point loss against Montferrand in 2001.

The Aviva Premiership finalists have to win to have any hope of qualification from Pool 1.

Leinster however have won 15 of their last 16 home games in the Heineken Cup, with Clermont upsetting the trend in Dublin last season.

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip (c), 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Michael Bent, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Leo Cullen, 20 Shane Jennings, 21 John Cooney, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Zane Kirchner.

Northampton Saints: 15 Ken Pisi, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 Dom Waldouck, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Diickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 Glenn Dickson, 23 Tom Collins.

Date: Saturday 14th December
Venue: Aviva Stadium
Kick-off: 18:00 (local & GMT)
Referee: Jerome Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Sebastien Cloute, Thomas Charabas (both France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
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
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors 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
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821