Match Preview | Leinster
One of the biggest fixtures of the 2021/22 season awaits Glasgow Warriors this weekend, as the club Plasters Scotstoun Purple for the visit of defending champions Leinster on Friday night.
The initiative sees the Warriors throw their support behind Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, with supporters encouraged to wear purple as they pack out Scotstoun and raise funds and awareness for the club’s Official Charity Partner.
With Glasgow and Leinster having become familiar foes in recent seasons, and with both sides at near full-strength ahead of the Autumn Nations Series kicking off, the stage is set for what promises to be a firecracker of an encounter under the Friday night lights.
So what should you expect ahead of kick-off?
? Official Kit Sponsors @LeidosInc have given the Warrior Nation an extra incentive to sell-out Scotstoun for Friday’s Plaster It Purple clash with Leinster, after pledging to donate £1 per ticket sold for the match to @GCH_Charity.
If June’s clash between the two sides is anything to go by, then the Warrior Nation will be in for a treat on Friday night.
On that occasion, it was Danny Wilson’s side who emerged victorious, claiming a well-deserved 15-12 win at Scotstoun to conclude their Rainbow Cup campaign.
Matt Fagerson and Kyle Steyn crossed for the home side, with Ross Thompson’s boot proving crucial as he converted the winning penalty 15 minutes from time.
Ones to watch
In a squad whose talent and depth is envied across northern hemisphere rugby, number eight Jack Conan has emerged as one of the key men for both Leinster and Ireland in the last couple of years. A powerful ball-carrier with a deceptive turn of pace, the back-rower’s form and physicality in both attack and defence earned him a call-up to the British and Irish Lions squad for the 2021 tour of South Africa.
Now in his fifth season with the province, Ciaran Frawley has started the season in eye-catching form in the Leinster midfield. The 23-year-old, who is equally comfortable at fly-half as he is at inside centre, earned Player of the Match honours in last weekend’s thumping of the Scarlets and has featured in each of Leinster’s matches so far this campaign.
Having been kept on the sidelines for nearly two years due to injury, even opposing supporters couldn’t help but warmly welcome Adam Byrne back into professional rugby earlier this month. The winger marked his first Leinster appearance since December 2019 with a brace in a win over Zebre Parma at the RDS, and will be looking to regain the form that saw him earn an Ireland debut prior to his injury layoff.
There have been a fair few to choose from over the years, but for many amongst the Warrior Nation, Tommy Seymour’s club record-equalling performance in September 2016 will take some beating.
The winger – who would go on to earn selection for the British and Irish Lions at the end of the 2016/17 campaign – started the season on fire, crossing for a hat-trick against Connacht in Galway before turning in an outing for the ages against Leinster at Scotstoun.
A four-try haul saw Seymour join Derek Stark as the only players to cross four times in a single match, helping the Warriors to a 33-25 victory over their Irish rivals.
Craig Evans will take charge of proceedings on Friday night, the Welsh referee handed the whistle for his 25th appearance in the competition.
Keith Allen and David Sutherland will be on the touchlines as his assistants, with Jon Mason on hand as the Television Match Official.
How to follow the match
If you can’t make it to Scotstoun, you can follow all the action as it happens on our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org from roughly an hour ahead of kick-off.
The match is also live on Premier Sports 1, as well as URC TV in selected territories. For a full list, click here.