Milestone for Leinster duo

LEINSTER coach Matt Williams wants to end the era of the one cap wonders. This evening at Donnybrook (7.35), Malcolm O’Kelly and Shane Horgan will join the illustrious ‘50 Club’ already occupied by colleagues Victor Costello, Denis Hickie and Shane Byrne.

“It’s a big evening for both of them. It is a milestone and one that will also be reached soon by Gordon D’Arcy.

“My viewpoint on this is all positive. These guys become role models for future Leinster players and they can help build a culture for others to follow.”

For the moment, however, Williams is expecting a storm to brew up at Donnybrook when his side take on Connacht.

“I don’t expect to have anything easy. The bonus for us is our international players have been released and most of them are available to play. The downside is Connacht are on a roll and have been together without any disruptions.

“The perception among some of our supporters may be that it should be easy. I don’t subscribe to that theory.”

Connacht coach Steph Nel is aware his side have a unique opportunity to create a bit of history: “We have done pretty well against Leinster in Galway but not so well in Donnybrook.

“I won’t make any predictions but I will say our guys won’t be lying down to have their bellies tickled,” he said.

“We had a good enough run last season and have carried it on a bit further this year. This is a big test for us but we look forward to it. I am very happy with the way the young players have performed to date.”

Munster will be well aware of the dangers awaiting them in Edinburgh.

Coach Alan Gaffney concedes that he is now in a better position than former coaches Declan Kidney and Niall O’Donovan were last year: “We have more video analysis available this year but it is a time-consuming operation. You hardly get time between one match and the next to work things out.

“It has, however, been very beneficial in highlighting strengths and weaknesses of individual players as the season has gone on.”

Gaffney is under no illusions however, that videos do not hold the key to the outcome of this evening’s game.

“All it really does is to give us an indication as to how Edinburgh might play.

“The Scottish sides tend to be very unpredictable and that appears to be the case with Edinburgh as well.

“What makes them even stronger is they appear to have a bit of bulk up front and won’t be easy to get the ball away from.”

The Munster under-21 selectors have made wholesale changes to the side for today’s clash with Leinster in Donnybrook, following their disappointing outing against Connacht last weekend. Peter O’Brien (UCC) is named at fullback with his club-mate Richard Lane moving to the wing, Keith Matthews reverts to centre at the expense of Colin Murphy (Sunday’s Well) and Barry Keeshan steps in to partner Fiach O’Loughlin at halfback.

LEINSTER: G D’Arcy, D Hickie, K Lewis, S Horgan, D Hickie, C Warner, B O’Meara, R Corrigan (captain), S Byrne, P Wallace, L Cullen, M O’Kelly, A McCullen, K Gleeson, V Costello.

CONNACHT: M McHugh, T Robinson, D Yapp, T Allnutt (captain), W Munn, E Elwood, C Keane, D McFarland, M Uijs, P Bracken, W Waugh, R Frost, M Swift, J O’Sullivan, J O’Connor.

MUNSTER: J Staunton, J Kelly, R Henderson, M Mullins, J O’Neill, J Holland, D Malone, M Horan, F Sheahan, J Hayes, D O’Callaghan, M O’Driscoll, J Williams (captain), A Foley, A Quinlan.

EDINBURGH: B Laney, D Lee, C Joiner, G Shiel, C Paterson, D Hodge, M Blair, A Jacobsen, D Hall, C Smith, N Hines, S Murray, T Blackadder (captain), S Taylor, M Leslie.

MUNSTER U21 v Leinster (Donnybrook, tonight 5.30pm): P O’Brien; A Cowley, B Murphy, K Matthews, R Lane; B Keeshan, F O’Loughlin; V Soden, D Fogarty, E McGovern; R Hartigan, P McCarthy; S Keogh (capt), E Nihill, B O’Connor. Replacements: C Garvey, F Gately, J Danagher, R O’Connor, G Noonan, K O’Mahony, F Cogan.

LEINSTER U21; P Berkery (Lansdowne), R Carroll (Lansdowne), K Kennedy (UCD), J Quigley, (capt, Dublin U), G Hayes (UCD), A Tallon (Lansdowne), D Geraghty (UCD); J Lyne (Lansdowne), B Blaney (Terenure Coll), J Moran (UCD), S Crawford (UCD), C Davis (UCD), J Ellis (St Mary’s College), N Ronan (Lansdowne), J Heaslip (Dublin U).

More in this section

RugbyCeltic LeaguePlace: DonnybrookPlace: GalwayPlace: EdinburghPerson: Matt WilliamsPerson: Malcolm O’KellyPerson: Shane HorganPerson: Victor CostelloPerson: Denis HickiePerson: Shane ByrnePerson: Gordon D’ArcyPerson: WilliamsPerson: Steph NelPerson: Alan GaffneyPerson: Declan KidneyPerson: Niall O’DonovanPerson: GaffneyPerson: Peter O’BrienPerson: Richard LanePerson: Keith MatthewsPerson: Colin MurphyPerson: Barry KeeshanPerson: Fiach O’LoughlinPerson: G D’ArcyPerson: D HickiePerson: K LewisPerson: S HorganPerson: C WarnerPerson: B O’MearaPerson: R CorriganPerson: S ByrnePerson: P WallacePerson: L CullenPerson: M O’KellyPerson: A McCullenPerson: K GleesonPerson: V CostelloPerson: M McHughPerson: T RobinsonPerson: D YappPerson: T AllnuttPerson: W MunnPerson: E ElwoodPerson: C KeanePerson: D McFarlandPerson: M UijsPerson: P BrackenPerson: W WaughPerson: R FrostPerson: M SwiftPerson: J O’SullivanPerson: J O’ConnorPerson: J StauntonPerson: J KellyPerson: R HendersonPerson: M MullinsPerson: J O’NeillPerson: J HollandPerson: D MalonePerson: M HoranPerson: F SheahanPerson: J HayesPerson: D O’CallaghanPerson: M O’DriscollPerson: J WilliamsPerson: A QuinlanPerson: B LaneyPerson: D LeePerson: C JoinerPerson: G ShielPerson: C PatersonPerson: D HodgePerson: M BlairPerson: A JacobsenPerson: D HallPerson: C SmithPerson: N HinesPerson: S MurrayPerson: T BlackadderPerson: S TaylorPerson: M LesliePerson: P O’BrienPerson: A CowleyPerson: B MurphyPerson: K MatthewsPerson: R LanePerson: B KeeshanPerson: F O’LoughlinPerson: V SodenPerson: D FogartyPerson: E McGovernPerson: R HartiganPerson: P McCarthyPerson: S KeoghPerson: E NihillPerson: B O’ConnorPerson: C GarveyPerson: F GatelyPerson: J DanagherPerson: R O’ConnorPerson: G NoonanPerson: K O’MahonyPerson: F CoganPerson: P BerkeryPerson: R CarrollPerson: K KennedyPerson: J QuigleyPerson: G HayesPerson: A TallonPerson: D GeraghtyPerson: J LynePerson: B BlaneyPerson: Terenure CollPerson: J MoranPerson: S CrawfordPerson: C DavisPerson: J EllisPerson: N RonanPerson: J HeaslipOrganisation: LeinsterOrganisation: ConnachtOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: EdinburghOrganisation: UCCOrganisation: LansdowneOrganisation: UCDOrganisation: Dublin UOrganisation: St Mary’s College
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