Thursday 19 July 2018

Leinster expect 'huge task' against Edinburgh

Michael Bent Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Bent Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Leinster's strength in depth will once again be tested when they travel to Edinburgh this evening (7.35) looking to overtake the Scarlets at the top of their conference, for at least a few hours.

Former Ireland U-20 flanker Will Connors has been handed his first start, while 20-year-old fly-half Ciaran Frawley is set for his debut from the bench.

Michael Bent will make his 100th appearance for Leinster as he starts in the front-row alongside skipper Richardt Strauss.

There is also a welcome return from injury for Adam Byrne who is named amongst the replacements.

"There's a really good mood in the group that's here," scrum coach John Fogarty said.

"Guys know that there are opportunities in front of them but it's not going to easy. Going away to Edinburgh is tough. They don't concede a lot of tries. They troubled us massively in that first game at the start of the season.

"They stressed our lineout, their maul is strong. They cut through us quite a bit so defensively we were under a lot pressure. It's a huge task."

Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster will learn a lot about several of their young players, but even still, the coaching duo have enough experience at their disposal to ensure that they get the job done on the road.

Verdict: Leinster

Edinburgh - D Fife; D Graham, M Bennett, C Dean, D van der Merwe; J van der Walt, N Fowles; J Lay, C Denton, M McCallum; F McKenzie (capt), L Carmichael; L Crosbie, J Ritchie, B Mata. Reps: N Cochrane, R Sutherland, M Shields, M Bradbury, J Hardie, S Hidalgo-Clyne, J Rasolea, G Bryce.

Leinster - D Kearney; F McFadden, R O'Loughlin, N Reid, B Daly; R Byrne, J Gibson-Park; P Dooley, R Strauss (capt), M Bent; R Molony, S Fardy; J Murphy, W Connors, M Deegan. Reps: B Byrne, E Byrne, O Heffernan, M Kearney, P Timmins, L McGrath, C Frawley, A Byrne.

REF - P Williams (New Zealand)

Irish Independent

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