Thursday, August 30, 2012

Joe Schmidt and Jono Gibbes to start for Leinster?

It’s rabid direct time again, with the rugby drought in the Northern Hemisphere due to break on Friday. Leinster’s first outing is an away trip to the Scarlets on Saturday, and the avialibility of players is a little bit concerning, with 11 fit international players unavailable for the opening rounds of the campaign and a further seven players (Luke Fitzgerald, Mark Flanagan, Conor Gilsenan, David Kearney, Sean O’Brien, Eoin O’Malley and Rhys Ruddock) ruled out through injury. I wonder how fit Joe Schmidt and Jono Gibbes are?
This was the 15 that started against Sale last Friday.

LEINSTER: 15: Isa Nacewa 14: Andrew Conway 13: Brendan Macken 12: Noel Reid 11: Fionn Carr 10: Ian Madigan 9: Isaac Boss CAPTAIN  1: Heinke van der Merwe 2: Richardt Strauss 3: Jamie Hagan 4: Tom Denton 5: Devin Toner 6: Dominic Ryan 7: Jordi Murphy 8: Leo Auva’a

I’d expect Leo Cullen to be back in the side, and possibly Quinn Roux will make an appearance off the bench.  If that’s the back 6, its’ very young, but Isa will be bossing them from the back. I’d go with a Scarlets win here because it’s always hard to win in Wales, never mind with young players.

Munster travel to Edinburgh – Scottish Rugby is on a bit of a high at the moment, and having just been thumped by London Irish, new coach Rob Penney has his work cut out, especially without the internationals. This was the team for London Irish:
D Hurley; D Howlett capt, C Laulala, J Downey, J Murphy; I Keatley, D Williams; W du Preez, D Varley, BJ Botha; D Foley, B Holland; D O’Callaghan, S Dougall, J Coughlan.
I wouldn’t expect too many changes to that, and despite what happened against Irish, I’d back them to win.

This is Ulster’s squad – I’m sure they’d like to have Ruan along, but I’d see them take out Glasgow at home. Interesting to see what Mark Anscombe will bring.
FORWARDS (15) Niall Annett Adam Macklin Callum Black John Afoa Lewis Stevenson Neil McComb Mike McComish Johann Muller Robbie Diack Sean Doyle Nick Williams Rob Herring Tom Court Nigel Brady Declan Fitzpatrick
BACKS (11) Peter Nelson Jared Payne Niall O’Connor Michael Heaney Craig Gilroy Paddy Jackson Luke Marshall Paul Marshall Chris Farrell Michael Allen Darren Cave

This was Connacht’s starting team for Quins:
M Jarvis; T O'Halloran, R Henshaw, M Fifita, F Vainikolo; M Nikora, K Marmion; D Buckley, J Harris-Wright, JP Cooney; M Swift, A Browne; J Muldoon, W Faloon, G Naoupu
There will be a few replacements going in there, will be hard to the Blues, but I’m going with them.
Enjoy the rugby!

RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , August 31
Newport-Gwent D'gons vs Zebre 
Ulster vs Glasgow 
Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys 19:05
Saturday , September 1
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues 17:00
Scarlets vs Leinster 18:30
Edinburgh vs Munster 20:00

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