Match Preview | Leinster
A first-ever Monday night Guinness PRO14 clash awaits Glasgow Warriors in round four of the 2020/21 season, as Danny Wilson’s side welcomes Leinster to Scotstoun.
The home side will be looking to bounce back from a 23-15 reverse at the hands of the Ospreys last time out, despite leading through early tries from Huw Jones and George Turner.
Wilson’s men now welcome the defending Guinness PRO14 champions to Glasgow’s west end, the latest instalment in one of the competition’s most intriguing rivalries in recent seasons.
With the Irish province on an unbeaten run of 22 matches in the competition, however, there will be no underestimating the size of the task facing the Warriors on Monday evening.
Here’s how Leinster are shaping up ahead of the match:
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Leinster form guide
Leo Cullen’s side picked up where they left off at the beginning of the 2020/21 season, as the men from the RDS sit top of Conference A with a maximum 15 points from their opening three matches this campaign.
A brace from James Lowe helped Leinster to a 35-5 win over the Dragons on opening weekend, before being made to work for a 37-25 victory away to Benetton in round two.
The champions returned home in style last time out, however, running in nine tries in a 63-8 dismantling of Zebre at the RDS.
The Leinster faithful said farewell to two legends of the province following the conclusion of the 2019/20 season, as both Rob Kearney and Fergus McFadden bowed out for the Irish province.
Australian international Joe Tomane was another to depart the RDS, the centre opting to join Japanese top flight side Ricoh Black Rams for the 2020/21 season.
Promising prop duo Jack Aungier and Roman Salanoa also said their goodbyes to their former team-mates, making the switch to Connacht and Munster respectively.
A settled Leinster squad saw no new arrivals per se during the off-season, with Cullen and his coaching staff opting to promote from within ahead of the new season.
Highly-rated second-rower Ryan Baird was rewarded for his performances in 2019/20 with a first professional contract, with the 21-year-old then finding himself named in Ireland’s squad for the conclusion of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations.
Dan Sheehan was another to be promoted from the academy ahead of the new campaign; the hooker marked his debut in style, crossing for two tries in last weekend’s victory over Zebre at the RDS.
Ones to watch
After 19 months out of action due to a serious injury, Leinster fans welcomed Dan Leavy back with rapturous acclaim against Zebre. The flanker had been building a reputation as one of the best turnover specialists in the business prior to injury, and will be hoping for a strong run of form to force his way back into Ireland reckoning.
With the focus for so long having been on Leinster’s production line of academy talents, people may miss the significant role played by Scott Fardy in the province’s development. The former Australia international offers a leadership presence in the pack, and is a high-calibre operator in both open play and the set piece.
With Jonny Sexton and Ross Byrne away with Ireland, Ciaran Frawley is one man who will be looking to put his hand up for a shot at the fly-half jersey. The 22-year-old has impressed since making his debut in 2018, and is equally capable at inside centre and full-back as he is in the number 10 shirt.
Leinster held the upper hand over the Warriors last season, claiming victory in both encounters between the pair en route to the 2019/20 title.
Two early scores from Ruaridh Jackson were ultimately in vain for Glasgow back in November 2019, as Cullen’s men claimed a 23-10 win at Scotstoun.
It was then Baird who took centre stage for Leinster in Glasgow’s last match before the Guinness PRO14’s suspension earlier this year, running in a hat-trick in the Irish side’s 55-19 win at the RDS back in February.
Ben Whitehouse will take charge of Monday night’s clash at Scotstoun, the Welshman handed the whistle for the 67th time in competition history.
Finlay Brown and Duncan McClement will be his assistants under the floodlights, with Andrew McMenemy on hand as the TMO if required.
Glasgow Warriors fans can watch the match live on Premier Sports 1 on Monday night, with kick-off scheduled for 8.15pm.
Live radio commentary can also be found on BBC Radio Scotland MW from 8pm, whilst you can follow all the action as it happens on our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.