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Glasgow Warriors vs Leinster Rugby
Guinness Pro12 Round 2
Scotstoun, Glasgow,
Saturday, 10th September 2016, 15:00

Television: Live: Sky Sports 3

Leinster began their season last week with a less comfortable than expected win over Treviso. A positive start saw Joey Carbery finish off some good general play but then things got a little sloppy and Carbery's brilliant second try actually came against the run of play. At 15-0 up Leinster looked a surefire bet for a bonus point win but under new coach Kieran Crowley, Treviso showed a little more steel than usual. They fought their way back into the game and were within a score of Leinster until James Tracy's try from an excellent maul settled nerves seven minutes from time. The acclaim around Carbery's excellent individual performance on his first start at out-half somewhat obscured an error strewn Leinster performance, particularly at the set-piece.

Leinster will need to be a lot sharper this week against a Glasgow team that came roaring out of the blocks last week by trashing champions Connacht in Galway. After losing two crucial games in the Sportsground late last season, the Warriors were clearly out for revenge. They were on top in a competitive first half but really tore a shell-shocked Connacht apart in the second half. The champions of 2015 were making a statement that they're back in business. They did suffer the blows of losing two of their top players from last season in Fijian second row Leone Nakarawa and Australian wing Taqele Naiyaravoro. But their core of fine Scottish players are still there and they've made a couple of canny acquisitions in former All Black hooker Corey Flynn and Italian winger Leonardo Sarto. Their coach Gregor Townsend has been appointed Scotland coach but the Warriors will still have him for another season while Vern Cotter sees out his contract. Townsend will be determined to leave the club as champions.

Speaking of coaching appointments, Leinster were in the news again this week with former England coach Stuart Lancaster appointed as a "Senior Coach", primarily in charge of defence. There was a general positive reaction to the news and while Lancaster certainly appears to be a decent man, it's unclear exactly what he's going to bring to Leinster. In his four years as England coach, a job he largely fell into after the mess of Martin Johnson's tenure, he did a mostly good job and they were unlucky to be beaten to a couple of Six Nations Championships by points difference. He also got England playing some very attractive rugby. However it all went pear-shaped at the World Cup when Lancaster seemed to lose the courage of his convictions and he changed his team and playing style to something a lot more basic. Since his resignation Eddie Jones has taken mainly the same players and turned England into the second best team in the world. Lancaster has bounced around with a couple of coaching gigs, including a short spell in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons. In truth, with Kurt McQuilkin's sudden departure there wasn't a lot of options out there and hopefully he can make a positive contribution while he's with Leinster.

Leo Cullen has named a team showing three changes in personnel plus a couple of positional switches from last week. Dave Kearney is fit to be named on the left wing, which means Fergus McFadden switches across to the right in place of Zane Kirchner, who drops to the bench. In the pack James Tracy starts at hooker in place of Bryan Byrne and Jordi Murphy comes in to start at number eight, meaning Dan Leavy switches to blindside and Dominic Ryan goes to the bench. Peter Dooley, Tadhg Furlong and Mick Kearney also feature in the match squad for the first time this season. Glasgow have made just two changes to last week's team, both in the front row, where Fraser Brown and Sila Puafisi come in at hooker and tighthead prop respectively.

Given the mess that the Scotstoun pitch was for the past two seasons, it's good news to hear they're the latest team to install an artificial pitch. This will of course favour Glasgow's high tempo style of play too and they'll be looking to tear into Leinster from the start. Leinster have lost their last three games in Glasgow, but they've always been tight affairs, only lost by one score. If Leinster emerge tomorrow with another losing bonus point, it would be a decent enough return from a tough looking fixture.

Team Lineups

Glasgow Warriors

Leinster Rugby
Teams Stuart Hogg 15 Rob Kearney
Leonardo Sarto 14 Fergus McFadden
Alex Dunbar 13 Garry Ringrose
Sam Johnson 12 Noel Reid
Tommy Seymour 11 Dave Kearney
Peter Horne 10 Joey Carbery
Henry Pyrgos (Co-captain) 9 Luke McGrath (C)

Gordon Reid 1 Cian Healy
Fraser Brown 2 James Tracy
Sila Puafisi 3 Michael Bent
Tim Swinson 4 Mike McCarthy
Jonny Gray (Co-captain) 5 Ross Molony
Rob Harley 6 Dan Leavy
Simone Favaro 7 Josh van der Flier
Ryan Wilson 8 Jordi Murphy

Replacements Corey Flynn 16 Bryan Byrne
Alex Allan 17 Peter Dooley
Zander Fagerson 18 Tadhg Furlong
Tjiuee Uanivi 19 Mick Kearney
Lewis Wynne 20
Dominic Ryan
Ali Price 21 Jamison Gibson Park
Rory Clegg 22 Cathal Marsh
Lee Jones 23 Zane Kirchner

Not Considered
Due to Injury
Adam Ashe,
Scott Cummings,
Chris Fusaro,
Ryan Grant,
Sean Lamont,
Finn Russell,
Richie Vernon

Edward Byrne,
Jack Conan,
Sean O'Brien,
Richardt Strauss,
Isa Nacewa,
Rhys Ruddock,
Ian Fitzpatrick,
Billy Dardis,
Johnny Sexton,
Robbie Henshaw,
Ian Nagle
Officials Referee: John Lacey (IRFU, 55th competition game),
Assistant Referees: Dan Jones (WRU), Dunx McClement (SRU),
Citing Commissioner: John Montgomery (SRU),
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (WRU)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2016-09-09