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Stuart Lancaster backs Leinster power game to deliver victory in Glasgow


Stuart Lancaster says 'there's more improvement' in Leinster. Photo: Sportsfile

Stuart Lancaster says 'there's more improvement' in Leinster. Photo: Sportsfile

Stuart Lancaster says 'there's more improvement' in Leinster. Photo: Sportsfile

Everyone in Leinster has tried their best to erase the Rainbow Cup from their minds, but this trip to Scotstoun will throw up some bad memories.

Over the years, Leinster have made winning in Glasgow a habit so their poor performance in defeat on their last visit was a real kick in the teeth for the champions.

As they return, Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster have picked the kind of pack that will strike fear into their hosts.

Last week against the Scarlets, Leinster scored six of their seven tries through their front-row – and although Andrew Porter has been given the night off there is a powerful look to their tight five.

Cian Healy is back in the No 1 shirt and he’ll be hungry to show he still has plenty to offer, while Ireland new boy Dan Sheehan is on the bench ready to make his mark. Lancaster has been happy with the way the big men have been contributing.

“It’s a combination of everything, you have three solid citizens in terms of the technical side of the scrum and everything else, but you also have three very good footballing front-rows,” he said of last week’s combination of Porter, Rónan Kelleher and Tadhg Furlong, who starts again tonight.

“I’d add the bench to that to be fair. Look at Dan Sheehan’s contribution from the bench. Mike Ala’alatoa is obviously a very good footballing tighthead as well.

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“For the team to come away with seven tries, six of which were by forwards, it’s a big pat on the back for them and to Robin McBryde. So yeah, it’s exciting.

“As everyone knows, the foundation of your game is your set-piece and your scrum, your physicality, and those guys bring that.

“There’s more improvement in us and in them but it was a good start.

“This game will be a good test for us. They’ve good players up there. It will tee up Ireland nicely going into November going into such a competitive game away from home, in a pretty hostile atmosphere.”

Even after his surprise Ireland call-up, Harry Byrne misses out and the decision to go with a six/two bench split of forwards and backs means we may see Ciarán Frawley get some game-time at out-half.

Verdict: Leinster

GLASGOW WARRIORS R Thompson; K Steyn, S Tuipulotu, S Johnson, R McLean; D Weir, A Price; J Bhatti, J Matthews, Z Fagerson; R Harley, R Gray; R Wilson (capt), R Darge, J Dempsey. Reps: G Turner, O Kebble, E Pieretto, L Bean, M Fagerson, G Horne, N Grigg, C Forbes.

LEINSTER – H Keenan; A Byrne, G Ringrose, C Frawley, J Lowe; R Byrne, L McGrath (capt); C Healy, R Kelleher, T Furlong; R Molony, R Baird; C Doris, D Leavy, J Conan. Reps: D Sheehan, E Byrne, M Ala’alatoa, D Toner, R Ruddock, J Gibson-Park, R Osborne, J van der Flier.

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