Wednesday 26 October 2016

Blues aiming to finish on a high in Edinburgh


Collie O'Shea will start at outside centre for his fifth Leinster cap against Edinburgh at Murrayfield tomorrow (KO 3.0).

The Clontarf man's career has been badly hampered by injury as the 24 year-old bids to make a favourable impression on coach Matt O'Connor for next season.

Ian Madigan has moved in one to fly-half with the sweet-passing Noel Reid at twelve as Jimmy Gopperth begins his last match for the province on the bench.

There is no place in the squad for Shane Jennings, the last of his 205 caps coming in that critical loss to The Dragons last month.

The sight of back three attacking weapon Cian Kelleher on the bench augurs well for next season.

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 do not exactly sit top of the priority pile.

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.

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

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.

Leinster: R Kearney; Z Kirchner, C O'Shea, N Reid, D Kearney; I Madigan, I Boss; J McGrath, R Strauss, M Ross, D Toner, M McCarthy, J Murphy, S O'Brien, J Heaslip (capt).

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