Leinster V Northampton Saints preview

Leinster complete their pre season this evening when they welcome the Northampton Saints to Donnybrook, kick off 7.00pm, in a rematch of the Heineken Cup final last May.

Joe Schmidt can call on a number of his Irish internationals for a game that Leinster will be looking to win as they build towards the start of the RaboDirect Pro 12 campaign and the defence of the Heineken Cup.

Having been excluded from the 30 man Irish World Cup squad earlier in the week Luke Fitzgerald is expected to line out for the province along with Kevin McLaughlin. Issac Boss and Sean Cronin have also been released for the game by Irish coach Declan Kidney.

Jamie Hagan will again be one player to watch tonight as the tight head prop gets another chance to shine while the front line internationals are away.

While delighted with last weeks win against the Melbourne Saints last week Schmit is expecting a hugely physical game against the Saints.

“I’m expecting a brusing test. I saw they beat Toulouse and Toulouse has some good players playing that night. We know them well enough now and at their very best they are tough to beat.”

LEINSTER — A Conway; F Carr, E O’Malley, E Sheridan, L Fitzgerald; I Madigan, I Boss; H van der Merwe, S Cronin, J Hagan; D Browne, S Sykes; K McLaughlin; D Ryan, R Ruddock (Capt). Subs: A Dundon, J McGrath/S Shawe, J O’Connell, D Toner, S Jennings, J Cooney/C Willis, M Berquist, B Macken, J Harris Wright, M Flanagan, L Auva’a, D Hudson


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