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Leinster Rugby vs Edinburgh Rugby
Guinness Pro Rugby
RDS Arena, Dublin
Monday, 16th November 2020, 20:15

TV: Live on Eir Sports

After two wins on the road, Leinster are back at home for another (sigh) Monday night game as they host Edinburgh.

For most of last season Edinburgh were the best team in Conference B. They finished top of the table and looked to be heading for the final as they led Ulster 19-7 in the semi-final. Yet they threw the game away and it was Ulster who eventually lost to Leinster in the final. That seemed to shake Edinburgh's confidence and they lost their first three games of this season. They have bounced back to win their last two games though. Their Head Coach Richard Cockerill also has a lengthy list of unavailable players. He had made just the one change to the starting fifteen who beat Cardiff 18-0. Andrew Davidson comes in to start in the second row and South African prop Pierre Schoeman, who was sent off in the RDS two years ago, makes his 50th appearance.

After a scrappy start to the Ospreys match last Sunday, Leinster really won it in a dominant second quarter. They also played some really nice rugby in difficult conditions and Dave Kearney's try was one of the best you'll see all season. The win once again came at a cost though with the exciting Tommy O'Brien suffering an injury that will put him out until the new year. Rory O'Loughlin also picked up a knock but there is better news about Harry Byrne who has shaken off a dead leg to continue his partnership with Luke McGrath at half-back.

The injuries to O'Brien and O'Loughlin mean there's a whole new centre partnership in Liam Turner and Ciaran Frawley. Jimmy O'Brien, Cian Kelleher and Dave Kearney continue in the back three. In the pack Peter Dooley and Devin Toner come in to start in the only changes to the front five. In the back row Dan Leavy is named at blindside flanker for his first start since March 2019 (which was also against Edinburgh coincidentally). Scott Penny stays at openside after scoring a try in every game he's played this season. Rhys Ruddock stays at number eight but his excellent recent form should really see him called up to the Ireland squad for the Georgia match. On the bench there is the welcome return of second row Ryan Baird who could also get called up for the Georgia match if he can prove his fitness.

Despite the injuries, Leinster have maintained a decent level of performance and should have too much for the Scots tomorrow evening.

Team Lineups

Leinster Rugby
Edinburgh Rugby
Teams Jimmy O'Brien 15 Jack Blain
Cian Kelleher 14 Eroni Sau
Liam Turner 13 Mark Bennett
Ciaran Frawley
12 Chris Dean
Dave Kearney 11 Jamie Farndale
Harry Byrne 10 Nathan Chamberlain
Luke McGrath 9 Henry Pyrgos (C)

Peter Dooley 1 Pierre Schoeman
James Tracy 2 David Cherry
Michael Bent 3 Lee-Roy Atalifo
Devin Toner 4 Andries Ferreira
Scott Fardy 5 Andrew Davidson
Dan Leavy 6 Magnus Bradbury
Scott Penny 7 Luke Crosbie
Rhys Ruddock (C)
8 Ally Miller

Replacements Dan Sheehan 16 Mike Willemse
Michael Milne 17 Sam Grahamslaw
Ciaran Parker 18 Dan Gamble
Ross Molony 19 Jamie Hodgson
Josh Murphy 20 Rory Darge
Hugh O'Sullivan 21 Nic Groom
David Hawkshaw 22 Charlie Shiel
Ryan Baird 23 James Johnstone

Not Considered
due to Injury
Vakh Abdaladze,
Conor O'Brien,
Adam Byrne,
Tadhg Furlong,
Max Deegan,
Jordan Larmour,
Garry Ringrose,
Jack Conan,
Sean Cronin,
Tommy O'Brien,
Rory O'Loughlin

Lewis Carmichael,
Viliame Mata,
Matt Gordon,
Grant Gilchrist,
Damien Hoyland,
Murray McCallum,
George Taylor,
Fraser McKenzie
Officials Referee: Craig Evans (WRU)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2020-11-15