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Leinster Rugby vs Edinburgh Rugby
Guinness Pro12 Round 20
RDS Showground, Dublin,
Friday, 15th April 2016, 19:35

Television: Live - TG4

Leinster left the Aviva Stadium two weeks ago having gone top of the league but it didn't really feel like that amongst the departing fans. They had beaten their oldest rivals Munster but were hanging on for dear life at the end and frankly it was a poor match. Leinster have got a case of the rugby drabs, one try in three games and worryingly, they don't often look like scoring either. With two of their final three games at home to Edinburgh and Treviso they should be able to secure a top two finish to get the home semi-final. But they are going to have to find some form from somewhere if they are to wrestle the Pro12 trophy back from Glasgow, who have won their last seven games straight and who are now playing a lot more like the team from last season.

Tomorrow evening Leinster take on the other Scottish team Edinburgh, who've won three out of their last four games. However the one game they lost in that run, at home to Connacht, is the game that more than likely ended their chances of a top four finish. That doesn't mean they've nothing to play for though as they're still only one point behind Munster in sixth place in the hunt for qualification for the European Champions Cup next season. Edinburgh have had a decent enough year, head coach Alan Solomons has gotten them organised and they have the third best defence in the league in terms of tries conceded.

WP Nel and flanker John Hardie, two of the best forwards in the recent Six Nations, are both named in the starting lineup. Solomons has made four changes to the team that beat Zebre two weeks ago. Hardie returns from injury at openside while Jamie Ritchie is on the blindside. There are two more changes to the backs, with Chris Dean coming in at outside centre and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne moving up from the bench to take the scrum half berth.

Leinster coach Leo Cullen has named a team showing 12 changes to the team that beat Munster with only Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy and Ben Te'o retaining their starting spots from the last day. The good news is that Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney are both back from injury and Cullen will be hoping they can stay fit for the run-in.

For Leinster's players and fans it will be nice to get back to the RDS after the quiet bizarre attempts by organisers to drum up atmosphere in the Aviva by booking a band that seemed to get lost on the way to a wedding. Hopefully home comforts will inspire them to a better performance and the right result.

Team Lineups

Leinster Rugby
Edinburgh Rugby
Teams Rob Kearney
15 Blair Kinghorn
Fergus McFadden
14 Damien Hoyland
Ben Te'o 13 Chris Dean
Noel Reid 12 Phil Burleigh
Luke Fitzgerald 11 Tom Brown
Ian Madigan 10 Jason Tovey
Luke McGrath 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne

Cian Healy 1 Alasdair Dickinson
Richardt Strauss 2 Ross Ford (C)
Mike Ross 3 WP Nel
Ross Molony 4 Anton Bresler
Mick Kearney 5 Ben Toolis
Rhys Ruddock (C)
6 Jamie Ritchie
Josh van der Flier 7 John Hardie
Jordi Murphy 8 Cornell Du Preez

Replacements Sean Cronin 16 Stuart McInally
Peter Dooley 17 Rory Sutherland
Tadhg Furlong 18 John Andress
Devin Toner 19 Alex Toolis
Dominic Ryan 20
Magnus Bradbury
Eoin Reddan 21 Hamish Watson
Cathal Marsh 22 Sean Kennedy
Dave Kearney 23 Mike Allan

Not Considered
due to Injury
Edward Byrne,
Tom Farrell,
Marty Moore,
Royce Burke-Flynn,
Gavin Thornbury,
Jack Conan,
Sean O'Brien,
Mike McCarthy,
Ross Byrne

Mike Coman,
Jack Cuthbert,
Nathan Fowles,
Grant Gilchrist,
Will Helu,
Nasi Manu,
Fraser McKenzie,
Matt Scott,
Jade Te Rure
Officials Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 51st competition game),
Assistant Referees: Andy Brace, Leo Colgan (both IRFU),
Citing Commissioner: Tim Lowry (IRFU),
TMO: Dermot Moloney (IRFU)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2016-04-14