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Leinster Rugby vs Glasgow Warriors
Guinness Pro12 Round 21
RDS Showground, Dublin,
Friday, 28th April, 19:35

Television: Live on TG4

So close, but ultimately too far.

Leinster went out of Europe on their shields last week in Lyon. After an awful start when they trailed by fifteen points, they nearly completed another historic comeback with a fantastic second half display. It would have been interesting to see how Clermont would have reacted if Dan Leavy's try had stood but ultimately it wasn't to be. But you can't gift your opponents a fifteen point start at this level. A couple of things that Leinster got away with against Wasps came back to haunt them. The lineout, which has been dodgy all season at key moments if we're honest, conceded momentum to Clermont early and the lack of genuine pace on the wings was also ruthlessly exposed. Leinster know these are areas that have to be improved and with the signings of Scott Fardy and James Lowe, these areas are already being addressed for next season. The experience will also stand to the younger members of the team.

So with Europe over for the season, Leinster now can put their full focus on winning the Pro12 for the first time in three years. Leinster have already secured a home semi-final but they'll want to return to winning ways by beating Glasgow tonight in the RDS. Leinster lost to Glasgow when they played away in their second game of the season in one of only three league defeats all season. At that stage, the 2015 Champions looked to be serious contenders again, but they've had a disappointing league season since then, losing nine games which means their chances of making the play-offs are over. They did have the consolation of making the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup for the first time ever at least, but even that was ended quite ruthlessly by Saracens.

Tommy Seymour will make his 100th appearance for Glasgow at full-back rather than his normal wing. It is his first game since being announced in the British and Irish Lions squad for their summer tour, not bad for a guy who was let go by Ulster. Seymour scored four tries in the match earlier in the season and Leinster will need to keep an eye on him. Lee Jones comes in on the wing in the only other change to the backline. In the pack Fraser Brown, Sila Puafisi, Brian Alainu'uese, Jonny Gray, Tim Swinson and Adam Ashe all come in to start. Scotland internationals Gordon Reid, Zander Fagerson, Ali Price, Finn Russell and Alex Dunbar feature on a very strong bench.

After such a short turnaround from Sunday's game, Leinster have made 14 changes to the team that started in Lyon with only Fergus McFadden retained. In the backs, Nick McCarthy makes his first Leinster start at scrum-half and he'll be renewing his St. Michael's partnership with Ross Byrne. Adam Byrne returns to the wing and Tom Daly makes his first home start for Leinster in the centre alongside Rory O'Loughlin while Zane Kirchner starts at full back.

In the pack Mike Ross starts at tighthead prop and after he announced his retirement during the week, this great servant to Leinster will undoubtedly get a great reception from the home crowd. Peter Dooley and James Tracy complete the front row and young Ross Molony captains the team for the first time from the second row alongside Mick Kearney. Dominic Ryan, Josh van der Flier and Dan Leavy make up the back row, with Jack Conan ruled out with a calf injury.

It's something of a patchy Leinster team but they still should have enough to beat Glasgow tonight.

Team Lineups

Leinster Rugby
Glasgow Warriors
Teams Zane Kirchner
15 Tommy Seymour
Adam Byrne 14 Leonardo Sarto
Rory O'Loughlin 13 Nick Grigg
Tom Daly
12 Sam Johnson
Fergus McFadden
11 Lee Jones
Ross Byrne
10 Peter Horne
Nick McCarthy
9 Henry Pyrgos (JC)

Peter Dooley
1 Alex Allan
James Tracy
2 Fraser Brown
Mike Ross
3 Sila Puafisi
Ross Molony (C)
4 Brian Alainu'uese
Mick Kearney
5 Jonny Gray (JC)
Dominic Ryan
6 Tim Swinson
Josh van der Flier
7 Chris Fusaro
Dan Leavy
8 Adam Ashe

Replacements Richardt Strauss
16 Pat MacArthur
Jack McGrath
17 Gordon Reid
Michael Bent 18 Zander Fagerson
Ian Nagle
19 Rob Harley
Peadar Timmons
20
Matt Fagerson
Jamison Gibson-Park 21 Ali Price
Joey Carbery
22 Finn Russell
Noel Reid
23 Alex Dunbar

Not Considered
due to Injury
Jordi Murphy,
James Ryan,
Jeremy Loughman,
Rob Kearney,
Jamie Heaslip,
Jack Conan,
Dave Kearney,
Sean O'Brien

Mark Bennett,
Simone Favaro,
Sean Lamont,
James Malcom,
D'arcy Rae,
Josh Strauss,
Richie Vernon,
Ryan Wilson
Officials Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 66th competition game),
Assistant Referees: Rhys Thomas (WRU), Simone Boaretto (FIR),
TMO: Alan Falzone (FIR),
Citing Commissioner: Eddie Walsh (IRFU)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2017-04-28

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