o'connor expects glasgow revenge
Leinster will begin the defence of their PRO12 League title at the home of Glasgow Warriors, their victims in the 2014 final.
"They will be incredibly motivated because of what happened at the end of last season," noted Leinster coach Matt O'Connor.
"That doesn't change anything for us. We need to make sure that we are pretty pragmatic about the challenge in front of us and we go there with the right mindset to get the right result."
The Warriors are on the rise improving from fourth in 2012 to third in 2013 to filling up the runners-up berth in that demoralising 34-12 final defeat to Leinster in late May.
"It is about players that want to get better and I think they have gained confidence through that consistency as well," remarked Townsend.
"Consistency of investment from Scottish Rugby has helped, but also higher expectations. Those come from the group first and I am sure our supporters will have very high expectations this year. I believe it is a very good thing."
Glasgow get what they have surely wanted since the final, a chance to exorcise the demons that haunted them that day.
"I was delighted to get such a big fixture early on. It focuses your mind as a coach on getting pre-season plans and bringing guys in at different stages of the season," added Townsend (inset).
"We are all aware we have to be at our best to win that first game. I think we played them third game of the season last year at Scotstoun. It was a great atmosphere.
"We had to play really well to win, but we have had some battles against Leinster that we have not managed to win, so we will have to be spot on."