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Leinster Rugby vs Glasgow Warriors
Pro14 Round 11
RDS Arena, Dublin
Friday, 28th February 2020, 19:35

TV: Live on Eir Sports

Last week was an old-school Pro14 night in Wales.

Instead of the comfortable wins they've become accustomed to, Leinster had to grind things out against a spirited and awkward Ospreys team. Leinster certainly didn't make life easy for themselves with some daft decisions and poor skills at times. But in tough conditions they did what they needed to and kept their winning record going. This week Leinster take on Glasgow, the team they beat in last year's Pro14 final which was held in Glasgow.

Glasgow haven't been at their best this season and the announcement of coach Dave Rennie's imminent departure to the Australia job so early in the season definitely hasn't helped. They have rebounded in the league after a poor start to the season and went ahead of the Cheetahs into third place in the table last week after they beat the Dragons at home. They're still a dangerous team though and on their day their offloading game is among the best in the league. That offloading game has been boosted by the return of Fijian international lock Leone Nakarawa. Nakarawa was European player of the year in 2018 for Racing but was then sacked by the Paris club after arriving back late from the World Cup.

Leone Nakarawa is omitted from the match squad tomorrow after picking up an injury last week against the Dragons but Rennie has still named a strong side that features international backs in Nick Grigg, Huw Jones, Tommy Seymour and Peter Horne and international forwards like Rob Harley, Tim Swinson and Ryan Wilson.

For Leinster there are eight changes to the side that started last week. Dave Kearney, Joe Tomane, Harry Byrne and Luke McGrath come in to start in the backline with Hugo Keenan, Jimmy O'Brien and James Lowe retaining their places. In the pack Sean Cronin starts at hooker alongside Michael Bent and Peter Dooley whose fine form earned him a first ever man of the match award last week. With the injuries to Cian Healy and Ed Byrne, Dooley will be a very important player for Leinster over the next couple of months.

After making a big impact when he came on last week, Ryan Baird gets a deserved start in the second row alongside skipper Scott Fardy. In the back row Will Connors and Max Deegan come in to join Josh Murphy. Rhys Ruddock, Jamison Gibson-Park and Fergus McFadden offer valuable experience off the bench.

With two strong sides named it should be a decent game if the weather behaves itself. Glasgow won in the RDS last season so Leinster will be keen to reassert themselves and should have enough to win.

Team Lineups

Leinster Rugby
Glasgow Warriors
Teams Hugo Keenan
15 Glenn Bryce
Dave Kearney 14 Tommy Seymour
Jimmy O'Brien 13 Huw Jones
Joe Tomane 12 Nick Grigg
James Lowe 11 Kyle Steyn
Harry Byrne 10 Pete Horne
Luke McGrath 9 George Horne

Peter Dooley 1 Aki Seiuli
Sean Cronin
2 George Turner
Michael Bent 3 D'arcy Rae
Ryan Baird
4 Rob Harley
Scott Fardy (C)
5 Tim Swinson
Josh Murphy 6 Ryan Wilson (C)
Will Connors 7 Tom Gordon
Max Deegan 8 Matt Fagerson

Replacements James Tracy 16 Mesu Dolokoto
Michael Milne 17 Alex Allan
Jack Aungier 18 Ewan McQuillin
Jack Dunne 19 Andrew Davidson
Rhys Ruddock 20 Callum Gibbins
Jamison Gibson-Park 21 Jamie Dobie
Ciaran Frawley
22 Ruaridh Jackson
Fergus McFadden 23 Niko Matawalu

Not Considered
due to Injury

Dan Leavy,
Barry Daly,
Jack Conan,
Vakh Abdaladze,
Rory O'Loughlin,
Ed Byrne,
Cian Healy,
Conor O'Brien

Adam Ashe,
Bruce Flockhart,
Jonny Gray,
Siua Halanukonuka,
Oli Kebble,
Kiran McDonald,
Stafford McDowall,
Robbie Nairn,
Leone Nakarawa,
Adam Nicol,
Grant Stewart,
Jale Vakaloloma,
DTH van der Merwe
Officials Referee: ,Nigel Owens (WRU, 183rd Championship Appearance)
Assistant referees: Joy Neville (IRFU), Wayne Davies (WRU),
TMO: Ian Davies (WRU)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2020-02-28