Glasgow Warriors v Leinster match preview

Glasgow Warriors, looking to continue their record breaking winning streak in the RaboDirect PRO12, welcome last year’s runners up Leinster to the Scotstoun Stadium on Friday evening.

Both sides are severely depleted by international call ups, but the release of players like Jackson for Glasgow, and those returning form injury such as O’Brien and Nacewa for Leinster, there is a good mix of experience in both line ups to help guide their younger players through.

It is Sean O’Brien’s first start of the season for Leinster, playing no 8, and he will be hoping to get in a good performance to truly kick start his season. Nacewa at full back is a welcome sight for Leinster fans and with Madigan at flyhalf and Dave Kearney on the wing, they certainly have threats in the backline to give the Warriors a headache.

The home side see the welcome return of Jackson in the ten shirt and his experience will be needed to help Sean Kennedy getting his first start at scrum half, as well as Gala call up George Grraham on the bench. The 9 shirt is one of concern to Glasgow at the moment with injuries and call ups and it will be an area Leinster players are likely to target.

The Leinster front row looks to be a weakness, but old heads in the pack with Cullen and Jennings should give them the experience to gain a platform to work from. Glasgow will be looking to use their advantage up front, where despite call ups they still have the depth to cause sides trouble.

The battle of the opensides in  Jennings and the Glasgow captain Chris Fusaro is going to be key. Whoever wins the breakdown battle will be providing their side with a big advantage.  Glasgow will be looking to get the ball to returning wing DTH van der Merwe as much as possible as he returns from injury, being a key finisher for them.

Neither side has the strongest bench, and it’s a good opportunity for the younger players in the squad to prove themselves.

Glasgow are fast making their home ground a much needed fortress and with such committed defensive displays in recent league matches it will take a big performance from Leinster to beat them, yet they have the danger men to do so.

The Warriors will have to work hard to keep the ball with their forwards, but to take the opportunities when they come to release their own danger men. Either way this has the potential to be a close match, and with both sides potential play off contenders, it will be an important handful of points for whoever ends up the victors.

Kick off:                7:35pm

Referee: Neil Hennessey (WRU)

Teams

Glasgow: 15. Peter Murchie 14. Tommy Seymour 13. Alex Dunbar 12. Peter Horne 11. DTH Van Der Merwe 10. Ruaridh Jackson 9. Sean Kennedy 8. Josh Strauss 7.Chris Fusaro (Capt)
6. Rob Harley 5. Tom Ryder 4. Tim Swinson 3.Mike Cusack 2. Pat MacArthur 1. Gordon Reid

Replacements: 16. Finlay Gillies 17. Ofa Fainga’anuku 18. Moray Low 19. James Eddie 20. Ryan Wilson 21. George Graham 22. Scott Wight 23. Byron McGuigan.

Leinster: 15: Isa Nacewa 14: Dave Kearney 13: Brendan Macken 12: Andrew Goodman 11: Fionn Carr 10: Ian Madigan 9: Isaac Boss 1: Jack McGrath 2: Aaron Dundon 3: Jamie Hagan 4: Leo Cullen (Capt)
5: Quinn Roux 6: Kevin McLaughlin 7: Shane Jennings 8: Sean O’Brien

Replacements: 16: Thomas Sexton 17: Jack O’Connell 18: Martin Moore 19: Devin Toner
20: Jordi Murphy 21: John Cooney 22: Noel Reid 23: Andrew Conway

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