Leo Cullen has named his team to face Zebre at the Staddio Zaffanella on Saturday.
Even with the international players missing Leinster have been able to call on a host of senior players along with a few young guns.
In the front-row it is an experienced three of Jack McGrath, James Tracy, and Andrew Porter, while Ross Molony is joined at lock by captain Scott Fardy.
The back-row is full of youthful talent with Josh Murphy at six, Max Deegan at seven and Caelan Doris at No 8.
The back-line is an exciting prospect with a half-back partnership of Jamison Gibson-Park at scrum-half and Ross Byrne at fly-half.
Mullingar starlet Conor O’Brien starts at inside centre and is joined by live-wire Rory O’Loughlin.
Barry Daly and Adam Byrne occupy the wings while Dave Kearney slots in at full-back.
The bench sees Bryan Byrne, Peter Dooley and Michael Bent as the replacement front-three. While Mick Kearney, uncapped Jack Dunne, Hugh O’Sullivan, Leicester-bound Noel Reid, and Jimmy O’Brien complete the 23.
LINE UP: Here is your 23-man squad to represent Leinster against @ZebreRugby tomorrow in the #GuinnessPRO14.@Scottfardy captains the side with Jack Dunne in line to make his senior debut from the bench.#ZEBvLEI #JoinTheRoar pic.twitter.com/1n8RkLVKaz— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) February 15, 2019
Zebre are currently bottom of Conference A and will be looking to end an 11-game losing streak against the boys in blue.
Speaking ahead of the game Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster has said that due to the 6 Nations players have a chance to come through and make their mark.
“Gives us a great opportunity to blood some young players,” he said.
However, even though people have been keeping more of a focus on the international stage recently and seeing this as an easier game, for the current champions Lancaster still views this as a crucial stage of the season.
“The attention is on the 6 Nations on the outside but obviously at Leinster out attention on the next game, we want to keep progressing, we want to keep getting points, keep developing our game,” he added.
Leinster are currently sitting top of Conference B, 21 points ahead of second placed Benetton and will be looking to continue their march towards the semi-finals in Italy.
All You Need To Know | Edinburgh v Munster
Munster are on the road this weekend with Graham Rowntree’s side visiting Edinburgh in round 9 of the BKT United Rugby Championship.
Find out all you need to know ahead of Edinburgh v Munster below.
Buy match tickets for Munster’s next home game against Toulouse here.
The DAM Health Stadium
Friday, December 2
Live on Viaplay, TG4, SuperSport, Premier Sports, Discovery + & URC TV.
Did you know?
This will be Munster’s first-ever game at the recently built 7,800 capacity DAM Health Stadium alongside Murrayfield in Edinburgh.
Both sides will be named before 12pm on Thursday.
Hear from Munster Forwards Coach Andi Kyriacou and Calvin Nash ahead of the game.
Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Assistants: Ian Kenny & Ross Mabon
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure
Champions Cup Round 1
Sunday, December 11
Munster Rugby v Stade Toulousain, Thomond Park, 3.15pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 10
Monday, December 26
Munster v Leinster, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 12
Friday, January 6
Munster v Emirates Lions, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here
Champions Cup Round 3
Saturday, January 14, 2023
Munster Rugby v Northampton Saints, Thomond Park, 3.15pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 14
Friday, February 17, 2023
Munster Rugby v Ospreys, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 15
Friday, March 3, 2023
Munster Rugby v Scarlets, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 16
Saturday, March 25, 2023
Munster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here
Images & Content from Munster Rugby
Pete Wilkins: Preview to Benetton
This Saturday Connacht Rugby welcome Benetton Rugby to The Sportsground. For Connacht, its a first home game since late October and one they will be aiming to win.
Head coach Pete Wilkins spoke to media before the game where he was first asked about last weekend’s defeat to Munster.
“Saturday wasn’t good enough and the scoreline reflects that”
“I’ve got mixed feelings from it, in the first half we put ourselves in contention but I don’t think Munster should have had ten points if we had been on our game as effectively as we should have been and in the second half I feel we gave them too many blocks of momentum”
“The key stat for me on Saturday was we got into their 22 six times and they got access to our 22 twelve times”
“Going into the game we were fairly even when it came to that stat per game”
The Connacht set piece has been very impressive so far this year and while Pete is happy with how that area is going he still believes there’s room for improvement.
“The forwards are showing great appetite for work and they have been top class but as a unit they know they haven’t reached their best yet which excites me so much”
“Lads are coming into training each day looking at specific details as to where they can improve and get the best out of each other”
“As coaches we’re seeing real competition in our scrum sessions, the lads are really pushing each other which is what’s needed to reach the level we want”
Benetton make their way to Galway on Saturday and the Italian side have had a decent season to date so Pete is expecting a massive challenge and one that should excite the players.
“Its an interesting challenge because they are pretty low in the rankings for possession, territory and points scored but yet they are very effective on their day and that is down to their goal kicking and taking opportunities when they come”
“If your discipline is poor they will punish you and they have powerful forwards who can cause damage”
“For us, we need to be effective when we have the ball and be clinical”
The Connacht team for Saturday will be named on Friday.
Tickets for the game are available HERE
Images & Content from – Connacht Rugby
Young wants Cardiff to take another step forward against Bulls
Dai Young has challenged Cardiff to take another step forward when they face Vodacom Bulls on Saturday night (18:00 GMT).
The Blue and Blacks go into the encounter on the back of an impressive 35-0 victory over Cell C Sharks in Durban – the first time a Welsh team had secured a BKT United Rugby Championship triumph in South Africa and the first time the Sharks or any of their predecessors at Kings Park had been nilled since 1972.
Young hopes his players will be brimming with confidence when they run out at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday and he has challenged them to deliver a consistent level of performance as they continue their progression.
He said: “You like to think you are going to grow in confidence and belief after good performances in exactly the same way as bad performances can draw that out.
“I thought we played really well and you can’t take that away from the players – they did an excellent job and tactically we played the conditions really well.
“We went into the game knowing the first 25 minutes was huge and whatever team got a lead in those conditions, it was always going to be hard for the other team to turn that around.
“But we are not going to get ahead of ourselves. It was a great performance but one that is gone now and history. Hopefully we can take some confidence and belief out of it but we know we have another massive challenge on the weekend.”
While Cardiff have now notched up victories over the Sharks and reigning URC champions the DHL Stormers in the current campaign, their Arms Park defeat to the Bulls last season remains vivid.
Young recalls the Pretoria-based outfit as the biggest side he has ever encountered and indeed they are currently second in the URC stats for metre gained, clean breaks and point scored. That points to the Bulls balance between size and attacking prowess and Young knows his side will need to be even better this weekend.
He continued: “I’m sure there are a few more bumps in the road but we will take that performance and it should give us a lot of belief and confidence. The realism kicks in now and we know what a formidable outfit the Bulls are.
“They are probably in a better position than the Sharks at the moment so we know we have to be better again to get anywhere near them.
“They don’t hide the way they want to play. Most South African teams play a very similar way. They have huge physicality up front and I remember playing them at the Arms Park where it was definitely the biggest pack of forwards I’ve ever come across. They were just huge.
“They also have real pace behind. They are comfortable moving the ball and playing from deep and they are comfortable sitting behind the ball.
“If you look back to our game at the Arms Park we had a really good first half against them, caused lots of pressure and got ourselves in a decent position but in the second half they just shut the game down. They went to their scrum and driving line out, forced penalties, won field position and just out powered us.
“We know they can play both ways and we have to bring the performance from the weekend. The target for us as a team is to consistently put these kind of performances in and if they are enough on the day great and if we’re not, we’re not.
“I don’t want to get involved in this emotional rollercoaster that if you lose you’re really down and if you win you’re really up. Every game has to be about individual and collective improvement and that’s what we have talked about this week.”
Club Statement – December 1
Highlander greats to join Management Team
All You Need To Know | Edinburgh v Munster
What rugby is on and where to watch it October – December
Six Nations 2020 – Fixtures & TV Schedule
Farrell Names Ireland’s Six Nations Squad
6 Nations1 week ago
England side to face Springboks
Premiership7 days ago
Argentina international joins London Irish
Premiership4 hours ago
Saracens sign Springbok on short term deal
Premiership7 days ago
Falcons forward heads to France
URC1 week ago
Wasps Hooker makes move to Edinburgh
International7 days ago
Du Toit keen to grab opportunity with both hands
International1 week ago
Springboks mix it up for final Test of 2022
Premiership1 week ago
Team News | Harlequins v Gloucester Rugby