With so many internationals off with the Irish squad over recent weeks, the look of Friday night’s squad is inexperienced, with seven academy players making up the numbers. The Ospreys are coming to Dublin.
This is not a bad thing. For at least five or six seasons Leinster has produced some outstanding academy players, many already promoted to the senior and international squads, and it is these tricky games during the November and Six Nations windows that allow them to prove themselves.
|5||Scott Fardy (Captain)|
There is experience on the pitch with them. Most notable, Scott Fardy, captain on the night. This is a game we can lose if the leadership on field is not right. No better man than Fardy to meet the challenge.
His impact to Leinster has been huge, there week in week out, occasionally dropped in Europe to accommodate others, but never minding, always ready to wear the jersey proudly. He has been a great signing.
Ciarán Frawley gets another chance at number ten, and with Noel Reid outside him. James Lowe, Adam Byrne and Nick McCarthy are the other recognisable names in the back line.
The Ospreys are without many of their front line players but still have some deep experience in the squad, Sam Davies making his 100th appearance for the region.
The bookies are giving a spread of 12 points for Leinster to overcome. It’s not insurmountable and should probably be taken on, but with so many unknowns in the squad, it is difficult to be confident.
We only played the Ospreys once last season, due to the new conference system and that was away from home. It has been a few years since the Ospreys triumphed in Dublin, but the memory is still hurts.
In 2012 they beat us twice in the RDS, in the regular season and in the final. We had a draw at the start of the 2013/2014 season. Since then it has been one way traffic in the RDS.
Leinster to win by two scores.