Friday, February 14, 2014

Looking for a clean sweep from Ireland this weekend!


Leinster have a strong side out for the visit of the Dragons on Friday night. Key combinations for me would be the 8,9,10 of Jordi, Reddan and Madigan. Reddan will be champing at the bit to at least get a spot on the bench for Ireland, while Jordi and Madigan want to kick on for the big time.  Then at centre, Macken and Reid could well be the long term combination in centre, so the more game time they get the better.  I’m no expert on the Dragons, but there are not too many recognizable names there so I going with Leinster, comfortably.

Leinster: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Darragh Fanning, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Martin Moore, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Michael Bent, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Dominic Ryan, 21 Issac Boss, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Darren Hudson.

Ulster got a good win last week over the Ospreys, with biblical weather conditions at Ravenhill. They have a strong side out again, and won’t struggle too much with the Scarlets. I’m looking forward to seeing Iain Henderson and Paddy Jackson showing their wares.

Alan Solomons has Edinburgh looking like the capital of the Transvaal with his team selection for Connacht. Connacht look strong, not experienced at fly half, but there’s always Dan Parks on the bench. Wonder if Scotland still have his number? It’s an opportunity for Connacht to get off the bottom of the table, which I think they’ll take.

Finally, Munster are going with Keatley and Murphy in centre – I’ve always thought Keatley would make a good centre, and throw in JJ Hanrahan, Zebo, Felix Jones and van der Heever and they have a potent back line. Fantastic to see Donnacha Ryan back too.

RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , February 14
Ulster vs Scarlets 
Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons 
Saturday , February 15
Connacht vs Edinburgh 
Cardiff Blues vs Glasgow 
Munster vs Zebre 18:45
Sunday , February 16
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso 16:00

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