Preview: Leinster v Leicester

Leicester Tigers star Geordan Murphy will make his 50th Heineken Cup appearance after being selected to start Saturday’s opener against Leinster at RDS in Dublin.

The Ireland full-back, who made his European debut against the same opponents back in 1999, becomes the 45th player to qualify for an ERC Elite Award for playing 50 games in the tournament.

Ollie Smith returns to the Tigers line-up after recovering from a hamstring injury and claims his place alongside fellow England international Dan Hipkiss in the midfield, with Seru Rabeni moving to the wing.

The rest of the line-up is the same as for last Saturday’s EDF Energy Cup win over Cardiff Blues, with Martin Corry leading the team from the blindside flank and Jordan Crane retained at number eight.

Meanwhile, Argentina star Felipe Contepomi will make his first start of the season in Leinster colours in the sell-out clash against last year’s Heineken Cup runners up.

Contepomi, who is six points shy of 300 Heineken Cup career points (which includes 73 points gained during his spell with Bristol), partners Chris Whitaker at half-back.

Gordon D’Arcy – fresh from a two-try haul in the 29-9 victory over Connacht last weekend – partners Leinster captain Brian O’Driscoll at centre with an all-Ireland international back three of Girvan Dempsey, Shane Horgan and Rob Kearney who starts on the left wing.

In the pack, ex-Leicester Tiger Leo Cullen lines up in the second row alongside Malcolm O’Kelly while Ireland’s Keith Gleeson comes in for Stephen Keogh, who picked up an injury in an accidental collision in training during the week.

This is the eighth meeting between the sides in this competition with the Tigers shading the previous contests four-three.

The last encounter came in Dublin when the Tigers won 29-13 in the 2005 quarter-final before failing in the semi-final against pool opponents Toulouse.

Leinster: 15 Girvan Dempsey, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O’Driscoll (c), 12 Gordon D’Arcy, 11 Rob Kearney, 10 Felipe Contepomi, 9 Chris Whitaker, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Keith Gleeson, 5 Malcolm O’Kelly, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Stan Wright, 2 Bernard Jackman, 1 Ollie le Roux.
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Juan Francisco Gomez, 18 Cameron Jowitt, 19 Kevin McLaughlin, 20 Cillian Willis, 21 Christian Warner, 22 Luke Fitzgerald.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Seru Rabeni, 13 Ollie Smith, 12 Dan Hipkiss, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Martin Corry (c), 5 Ben Kay, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Julian White, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Mefin Davies, 17 Martin Castrogiovanni, 18 James Hamilton, 19 Luke Abraham, 20 Christophe Laussucq, 21 Paul Burke, 22 Johne Murphy.

Date: Saturday, November 10
Kick-off: 13:30 GMT
Venue: RDS, Dublin
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)
Touch judges: Eric Gauzins and Jean Marie Schutz (both France).
Video official: Daniel Gillet (France)

 

365 Digital

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