Match Preview: Leinster
Glasgow Warriors return to Guinness PRO14 action this weekend, as high-flying Leinster arrive at Scotstoun for a rematch of the 2019 Guinness PRO14 Final.
out in Exeter last weekend, Dave Rennie’s men will be keenly looking for a
return to winning ways against the powerhouse Irish province.
squad is laced with world-class talent across every position, with southern
hemisphere stars James Lowe and Scott Fardy complementing Irish international
stalwarts such as Johnny Sexton and Tadhg Furlong.
With two of
the competition’s most consistent performers set to go head to head under the
floodlights on Saturday night, the stage is set for another thrilling round of
Guinness PRO14 rugby.
Leinster are shaping up ahead of Saturday’s encounter:
come into the match sitting pretty at the top of Conference A, the Irish side
able to boast the only 100% record remaining in the competition.
Kearney hat-trick saw Cullen’s men edge to victory away to Benetton in round
one, before hooker Ronan Kelleher followed suit in the Irishmen’s 53-5 win over
Ospreys at the RDS in round two.
triumph over Edinburgh followed a week later, before Ross Byrne’s penalty
proved to be the solitary score in a 3-0 win over Zebre in Parma.
Dublin-based outfit kept up their form with a brace of bonus-point victories
over Dragons and Connacht respectively, before defeating both Benetton and Lyon
in their opening matches of the Heineken Champions Cup.
claiming victory in the 2019 Guinness Pro14 Final at Celtic Park, the Leinster
supporters waved goodbye to two long-serving Irish internationals.
O’Brien departed the RDS for newly-promoted English Premiership side London
Irish, whilst Jack McGrath swapped Dublin for Belfast by joining
inter-provincial rivals Ulster.
duo Ian Nagle and Mick Kearney also made the switch to a Guinness PRO14 rival
by joining Zebre, with Noel Reid crossing the Irish Sea to link up with Leicester
summer recruitment saw Cullen and company prefer to promote from within, as a
host of players earned senior contracts following impressive performances in
the Leinster academy.
those performers was hooker Kelleher – currently battling for top position in
the competition’s try-scoring charts – and young fly-half Ciaran Frawley, who
will jostle for selection with Irish internationals Sexton and Ross Byrne.
brother Cian also returned to the RDS following a spell with Connacht, having
previously come through the men in blue’s academy.
In a back
line filled with star players, Adam Byrne is most definitely one to keep an eye
on for the future. Standing at 6’4”, the winger has already amassed over 50
caps for his province since his debut as an 18-year-old back in 2012 – at the
time the youngest player to represent Leinster in a competitive match.
27, Jamison Gibson-Park is so often the man that makes Leinster tick. The
former Maori All Blacks scrum-half continually keeps defenders on their toes
with his speed around the breakdown, whilst also possessing a top-quality
With 39 caps
for Australia to his name, Fardy brings a wealth of experience to the Leinster
pack. Capable of playing in both the second-row and back-row, the man from
Sydney has made an instant impression at the RDS since arriving in 2017.
Nation will need no reminding of the most recent meeting between their side and
Saturday’s visitors, with the memory of May’s Guinness PRO14 Final still fresh.
In front of
over 47,000 at Celtic Park it was Cullen’s side that prevailed in a titanic
tussle; tries from Garry Ringrose and Cian Healy, allied to the boot of Sexton,
meant that scores from Matt Fagerson and Grant Stewart were ultimately in vain
for the Warriors.
happier memories to be had for Glasgow supporters from their most recent regular-season
clash with Leinster, as Rennie and his players shocked the Irish side by
claiming a resounding 39-24 triumph at the RDS.
spectacular try from Sam Johnson and Tommy Seymour’s score gave the Warriors a deserved
half-time lead, before tries from both Fagerson brothers and George Horne
completed the victory after the interval.
will be the man in the middle on Saturday night, with the Welshman having taken
charge of his first championship match back in November 2017.
and Adam Jones will be his assistants under the floodlights, whilst John Mason
will be the TMO.