Leinster v Edinburgh preview

In what could be a possible Heineken Cup final match in a few weeks Leinster welcome Edinburgh to the RDS this Friday night for their RaboDirect Pro 12 clash, kick off 7.45pm.

Both sides come into Friday’s game high on confidence after securing spots in the semi final stages of the Heineken Cup last weekend with Leinster clinically beating Cardiff and Edinburgh pulling off a massive result when they ousted French giants Toulouse at Murrayfield.

Those victories will ensure that both sides will feel more than up to claiming victory and both sets of coaches have laid down their respective markers by selecting strong lineups.

Jamie Heaslip, one of only three Leinster players who started in the Cardiff mauling, will captain the side and will take his place in the backrow alongside Rhys Ruddock and Shane Jennings.

The backline is equally impressive from a Leinster perspective. Isa Nacewa, who doesn’t seem to know what having a bad game means, starts at full back and he is joined by Dave Kearney and Fionn Carr.

Ian Madigan, who has really developed over the course of the season, replaces Jonny Sexton at fly half. Madigan impressed when he came on against Munster in Thomand Park a number of weeks ago and Leinster will be looking him for another assured and confident display in front of an expectant RDS crowd.

Michael Bradly, like his counterpart Joe Schmidt, has sought to freshen things up after their European exertions. While he makes only one personnel change in the matchday 22 there are five changes to the starting 15 that defeated Toulouse.

Kyle Traynor replaces the injured Allan Jacobsen at loose-head prop, with Esteban Lozada reintroduced to the squad to start alongside Sean Cox in the second-row.

Scrum-half Chris Leck is the only change to the back division as he continues to replace Mike Blair, who was injured during the Toulouse game.

Speaking ahead of Fridays’s clash Bradly admits that while confidence is high within the sqaud his side are all too aware of the challenge they face when the line up against the Heineken Cup champions.

“We face a very tough task in Dublin this weekend against a side who comfortably made the semi-finals for the fourth successive season.

“As league leaders and European pace-setters they will be keen make big statements between now and the continuation of their European title defence.

“What pleases me is that we go into the match off the back of two wins over quality opposition, Scarlets and Toulouse, from which we can take a lot of confidence.

“As a team we must acknowledge the effort and commitment required on those days and prepare appropriately for another significant challenge this weekend at the RDS.”

While Edinburgh will no doubt be a huge test it is hard to look beyond Leinster for the win on Friday night. The manner in which the sauntered into the semi finals of the Heineken Cup had to be seen to be believed and while there are changes aplenty a familiar result should happen. Leinster to win.


15: Isa Nacewa
14: David Kearney
13: Fergus McFadden
12: Gordon D’Arcy
11: Fionn Carr
10: Ian Madigan
9: Isaac Boss

1: Heinke van der Merwe
2: Sean Cronin
3: Nathan White
4: Damian Browne
5: Devin Toner
6: Rhys Ruddock
7: Shane Jennings
8: Jamie Heaslip CAPTAIN


16: Richardt Strauss
17: Jack McGrath
18: Martin Moore
19: Kevin McLaughlin
20: Leo Auva’a
21: Eoin Reddan
22: Noel Reid
23: Brendan Macken


15: Tom Brown
14: Lee Jones
13: Nick De Luca
12: Matt Scott
11: Tim Visser
10: Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN
9: Chris Leck

1: Kyle Traynor
2: Ross Ford
3: Geoff Cross
4: Esteban Lozada
5: Sean Cox
6: Stuart McInally
7: Roddy Grant
8: Netani Talei


16: Andrew Kelly
17: Robin Hislop
18: Jack Gilding
19: Grant Gilchrist
20: David Denton
21: Ross Rennie
22: Phil Godman
23: Jim Thompson

REFEREE: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU) , ASSISTANT REFEREES: David Wilkinson, Simon McDowell (both IRFU), 4th OFFICIAL: Gary Glennon (Leinster Rugby Referees), 5th OFFICIAL: Robbie O’Flynn (Leinster Rugby Referees), TMO: Jude Quinn (IRFU)


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