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Leinster teams to face Connacht and Glasgow Warriors

Guinness PRO12 Editor

19 Apr 2010

The Leinster team to face Connacht in Wednesday night’s Magners League clash at the RDS (KO: 7.45pm) has been named.

Brian O’Driscoll returns to the starting line-up and will partner Eoin O’Malley at centre for the re-fixed interprovincial which was originally postponed at the start of the year. CJ van der Linde starts in a front row which includes Stan Wright and Richardt Strauss who makes his first start for the province. Shane Jennings will captain the side.

Eoin Reddan partners Shaun Berne at half-back, with Andrew Conway named on the right wing for what will be his third appearance for the province.

Leo Cullen, Cian Healy and Jamie Heaslip are named on a strong looking bench.

Meanwhile, the Leinster team to face the Glasgow Warriors in Friday night’s Magners League clash in Firhill (KO: 8pm) has also been named and will be led by Bernard Jackman who is in named in a panel brimming with youthful promise.

Rhys Ruddock starts in a pack alongside fellow Leinster Academy back-row forward Paul Ryan who has impressed for the province in recent weeks. Ireland international trio Jackman, Trevor Hogan and Mike Ross also feature in the pack, while Fergus McFadden starts at centre alongside Eoin O’Malley.

LEINSTER (team v Connacht):

15: Girvan Dempsey
14: Andrew Conway
13: Brian O’Driscoll
12: Eoin O’Malley
11: Isa Nacewa
10: Shaun Berne
9: Eoin Reddan

1: Stan Wright
2: Richardt Strauss
3: CJ van der Linde
4: Nathan Hines
5: Malcolm O’Kelly
6: Kevin McLaughlin
7: Shane Jennings CAPTAIN
8: Stephen Keogh


16: John Fogarty
17: Cian Healy
18: Leo Cullen
19: Jamie Heaslip
20: Paul O’Donohoe
21: Ian Madigan
22: Simon Keogh

LEINSTER (team v Glasgow Warriors):

15: Ian Madigan
14: Simon Keogh
13: Eoin O’Malley
12: Fergus McFadden
11: Michael Keating
10: Paul O’Donohoe
9: Chris Keane

1: Ronan McCormack
2: Bernard Jackman CAPTAIN
3: Mike Ross
4: Trevor Hogan
5: Ciaran Ruddock
6: Rhys Ruddock
7: Paul Ryan
8: Stephen Keogh


16: Jason Harris-Wright
17: Jack McGrath
18: Mark Flanagan
19: Dominic Ryan
20: David Moore
21: Kyle Tonetti / Brendan Macken
22: Andrew Conway

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Interprovincial derby in Galway, Leinster coach MICHAEL CHEIKA said that they are expecting another tough, physical test against an improving Connacht side…

"There are still important league points to play for, so given the closely fought nature of these interpro’ matches, that just serves to sharpen our instincts for what will be a tough match.

"Connacht are one of the most improved teams in Magners League this year and they are in a strong position to win the Amlin Challenge Cup – and are on the verge of qualifying for the Heineken Cup outright – so we’re under no illusion as to what kind of challenge we face this week.

"We made it very clear to each player that over these two games (Connacht and Glasgow) each player in the squad will have an opportunity to wear the blue shirt and they will all relish the opportunity, I’m sure. For one thing, from a players’ point of view they would prefer to play competitive matches at this time of the year than train!

"We’re in a position to welcome back some players into the panel for Wednesday, give others a rest and bench a few others, so that will hopefully ensure an injection of freshness as we approach the business end of the season. With the injured players we will have to wait and see.

"There were a few sore bodies after the Ospreys win so how we manage our resources over the coming days will be hugely important in terms of how we progress in the Magners League, first and foremost.

"If we bring nothing other than our ‘A’ game to Galway then we will struggle. Every game between the two sides is a dogfight. They probably felt that they should have won the reverse fixture at the end of the March in the RDS, so they will look to target us again this week as they always do.

"They dominated the contact area (that day) and showed their capabilities when opportunities came their way that day so the one thing you learn about competing in games like this is that irrespective of league standings and form, there will be physicality, lots of grit and collisions. We have to meet these challenges positively.

"We’re expecting a tough test and Wednesday’s game will be about pride and focus. We have a good run going in the Magners League and we don’t want to let our standards slip."