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Saturday 10 December 2016

Blues aiming to finish on a high in Edinburgh

In the grander scheme of things, Leinster's quest for a third seed in the Champions Cup and Edinburgh's for a play-off place in the same competition at Murrayfield do not exactly sit top of the priority pile tomorrow (KO 3.0).

This is why this one has been relegated to viewing on BBC Alba, the television entertainment value of way off-Broadway.

Ireland flanker Seán O'Brien has good reason to welcome another visit into Scotland's national stadium.

It was there he set Ireland on the way to the Six Nations title with a savvy try off Devin Toner's lineout take.

"It's a nice place to go. I wouldn't say I like playing at Murrayfield. It's always very tough over there, you see," he said.

The battle of the back rows will be carried out on a not-an-inch given attitude to the gain line and the breakdown.

"We'll have to keep an eye on them," said the Carlow man.

"They compete very hard in that area. They're a very physical team and they really go after teams. They're hugely dangerous."

"The back row will lead their pack around the place with their impact tackles, their chokes and causing the rucks to be upset."

The competing interests of these two clubs should make it an open game with Edinburgh looking for a bonus-point win and Leinster out to play to tempo.

Certainly, coach Matt O'Connor won't want to end his worst season as a head coach with the annoyance of that dull and dreary 10-0 win over Benetton Treviso.

Leinster have not won successive Guinness PRO12 encounters since January, whilst their only victory on the road since their Champions Cup trip to Castres in October was at Cardiff Blues in January.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh have won just one of their last eight fixtures with Leinster and have registered a single try in each of their last six encounters with them.

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