Leinster’s second home game, fourth of the season, sees us take on Edinburgh at the RDS. This fixture was once a banana skin for Leinster, especially in Europe.
Last year we beat them 21-13 in a close enough game. Jamison Gibson-Park scored a late try to settle matters. We lost the away fixture 29-24 during the Six Nations international window. The previous year we won both fixtures.
So there is some danger in the fixture, with many of the players keeping one eye on the upcoming European games in October and the International matches in November. They have to weigh up playing well enough to warrant selection while trying to avoid injury; a fine line to walk.
With Dan Leavy available for selection and no new injuries from last weekend’s game against the Dragons, Leo has a strong squad to pick from.
We will have to wait longer to see Sean O’Brien, who has not yet taken up full training, but the day is imminent. Ciarán Frawley has also ramped up his training and will soon be available for selection.
The new jersey from Adidas, their third new one this year, is now available. This one is for use in Europe and is available from LifeStyle Sports. The fourth star still appears off centre. Maybe it’s intended to spur the team on to get a fifth European trophy to balance things out better.
The team for tonight is as follows:
|van der Flier||7||Ritchie|
|Sexton (C)||10||van der Walt|
|Lowe||11||van der Merwe|
The most notable change is Larmour into full back, possibly his strongest position. We should see some strong counter attacking from there tonight, especially if he can link up with James Lowe, the offloading New Zealnder, who comes into the eleven jersey.
Back from injury comes Josh van der Flier making his first appearance since the Six Nations. Dan Leavy is another welcome returnee, taking up a place on the bench. There is a lot of strength on the bench this evening. Gibson-Park’s man of the match display last week intensifies the competition for scrum half and he will used mid-way through the second half.
Edinburgh have some internationals returning to action. Jamie Farndale is a sevens player and sure to inject some pace into this game. They intend to spoil the party and take their second win of the season here in Dublin.
The spread on Paddy Power is Leinster -22. This is quite tempting, but I think it may end up closer than that. The total points mark is 50.5 but that is probably an optimistic number. I’d take the under 50.5 option.