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Leinster Rugby vs Glasgow Warriors
Pro Rugby
RDS Arena, Dublin
Sunday, 28th February 2021, 17:50

TV: Live on Eir Sports

Leinster won a tougher than expected game last week against the Dragons to go five points clear at the top of Pool B.

The Dragons were game from the start and Leinster's discipline was poor as they handed the Dragons too many easy points. Every time the vastly superior Leinster pack got rumbling though, they eventually got over for a try. But the Dragons kept them honest and it was no bad thing to have a decently competitive game instead of another handy blowout.

Tighthead Tom Clarkson was a late call-up to the starting lineup after Michael Bent had to withdraw for personal reasons. He took on a grizzled old South African bear in Dragons loosehead Brok Harris who is fifteen years his senior. And that's EXACTLY fifteen years by the way, because by bizarre coincidence both players share the same birthday which was last Monday. Clarkson definitely had some tough moments in the scrum but he persevered and put in a big shift. All props learn a lot more from the tough days than the easy ones and that game will do a lot for his development.

At the same time as Leinster were beating the Dragons, Glasgow were narrowly losing to Ulster. Though Ulster didn't get a winning bonus point, the win kept them within a bonus point win of Leinster with the two sides due to meet in Ravenhill next week. Ulster take on Ospreys tomorrow night and should win handily enough so Leinster will need to keep the pressure on when they meet Glasgow on Sunday evening. Glasgow are a sorry shadow of the team that were regular contenders up until about two years ago. They've only won three games out of eleven in the league and their only motivation is to try to earn qualification for the European Champions Cup next season.

Glasgow did receive a boost from the Scotland - France game being postponed so a number of squad players were made available. Head coach Danny Wilson has named a team with internationals like Huw Jones, Sam Johnson and Adam Hastings in the backs and Richie Gray, Leone Nakarawa and Rob Harley up front. Former New Zealand under-20s star Cole Forbes makes his first start on the wing.

For Leinster there are a good few changes as Jimmy O'Brien and Ciaran Frawley return from injury to take their place at full back and inside centre respectively. It's all change in the pack as only Peter Dooley and Josh Murphy retain their jerseys from last week. Sean Cronin, Michael Bent, Devin Toner and Scott Fardy all come into the front five. Josh van der Flier returns from Ireland duty to play at openside which means Scott Penny makes his first start at number eight which should be interesting. Back row Alex Soroka will make his Leinser debut if sprung from the bench.

It's a decent Glasgow team but you'd back Leinster to have too much for them.

Team Lineups

Leinster Rugby

Glasgow Warriors
Teams Jimmy O'Brien 15 Ollie Smith
Cian Kelleher 14 Rufus McLean
Rory O'Loughlin 13 Huw Jones
Ciaran Frawley 12 Sam Johnson
Dave Kearney 11 Cole Forbes
Harry Byrne 10 Adam Hastings
Luke McGrath (C)
9 Jamie Dobie

Peter Dooley 1 Oli Kebble
Sean Cronin 2 Grant Stewart
Michael Bent 3 Enrique Pieretto
Devin Toner 4 Richie Gray
Scott Fardy 5 Leone Nakarawa
Josh Murphy 6 Rob Harley
Josh van der Flier 7 Thomas Gordon
Scott Penny 8 Ryan Wilson (C)

Replacements Dan Sheehan 16 Johnny Matthews
Greg McGrath 17 Aki Seiuli
Thomas Clarkson 18 D'arcy Rae
Jack Dunne 19 Gregor Brown
Alex Soroka 20 TJ Ioane
Rowan Osborne 21 Sean Kennedy
David Hawkshaw 22 Ross Thompson
Jamie Osborne 23 Robbie Fergusson

Not Considered
due to Injury
Vakh Abdaladze,
Conor O'Brien,
Dan Leavy,
Adam Byrne,
Max Deegan,
Tommy O'Brien,
Caelan Doris

Officials Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2021-02-26