Leinster set to battle Warriors without Keogh

STEPHEN KEOGH has been ruled out of the Leinster team for tonight’s crucial Magners League clash with Glasgow at Hughenden.

Keogh ran himself into the ground in a bid to help his side make it through to the Heineken Cup semi-finals against London Wasps last week, but he aggravated a rib injury for his troubles.

Leinster make three changes from the side beaten by Wasps. Brian Blaney and Cameron Jowitt replace forwards Bernard Jackman and Keogh while Christian Warner takes over from Kieran Lewis at centre.

Kevin McLaughlin and Luke Fitzgerald are named on a strong-looking bench.

Leinster lead the league table by four points and have a game in hand on second placed Ulster.

The table toppers have won their last five Magners League games and have been defeated just once since October, but the Heineken Cup hiccup will leave coach Michael Cheika demanding redemption.

In Leinster’s favour, they have won the last ten matches between the sides in all competitions.

The Warriors’ last victory in the competition over Leinster was a 25-21 win at Hughenden in the league in September, 2002.

But the Warriors have promised they are fully focussed on climbing the Magners League table as they go into the final five games of the season.

Coach Sean Lineen has made just one change to the side that narrowly lost 23-19 to Saracens in the European Challenge Cup quarter-final last Sunday as Scott Barrow comes in to replace centre Andrew Henderson who has been ruled out with a damaged left elbow.

Lineen said: “We’ve got a point to prove this week and we want to continue the form from our game against Saracens, particularly from the second half last Sunday.

“We haven’t beaten Leinster in a while and both teams are now fully intent on completing the Magners League programme with the best possible results.

“We’ve got five games left of our season and a lot to prove. We’re hoping for a good crowd as the weather forecast suggests it will be a great night for fast running rugby,” he added.

LEINSTER: G Dempsey, S Horgan, G D’Arcy, C Warner, D Hickie, F Contepomi (capt), C Whitaker; S Wright, B Blaney, W Green, T Hogan, M O’Kelly, C Jowitt, K Gleeson, J Heaslip.

Replacements: R Corrigan, H Vermaas, O Finegan, K McLaughlin, G Easterby, L Fitzgerald, R Kearney.

GLASGOW WARRIORS: R Lamont, H O’Hare, G Morrison, S Barrow, T Evans, D Parks, G. Beveridge, J Va’a, F Thompson, E Murray, A Newman, A Kellock (captain), S Swindall, J. Beattie, J Barclay.

Substitutes: S Lawson, K Tkachuk, D Turner, A Wilson, D Macfadyen, C Gregor, C Shaw.

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