Irish stars set to face Warriors

IRELAND trio John Fogarty, Jamie Heaslip and Shane Horgan were named in the Leinster squad to face the Glasgow Warriors in tomorrow night’s Magners League opener at Firhill Stadium (7.05pm).

The trip to Scotland will be for Leinster’s 300th game of the professional era and could also mark the debut of tight-head prop Ben Prescott, who yesterday joined the province from Nottingham until the end of the season.

The 32-year-old, Libya-born and Irish qualified front-row is a former Glasgow player and was named on the National Division 1 Team of Year.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Sean Lineen is expecting a big challenge from visitors Leinster at Firhill.

“Our (pre-season) game against Sale at Firhill was a good stepping stone but we know it’s going to be a massive physical test against Leinster,” Lineen said.

“It’s always a good battle with Leinster. They’ve got a lot of youngsters as well but they’ve also got plenty experience. The back row, which I rate very highly, is their weapon.”

Glasgow are carrying a number of injuries to some key personnel including second row and captain Alastair Kellock, Richie Gray filling in at lock.

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has named internationals Gavin Duffy and Sean Cronin in his 26-man squad to face Newport Gwent Dragons in their Magners League opener at the Sportsground, Galway, on Saturday, although Cronin faces a fitness test.

The pair’s inclusion for the first competitive game of the campaign will be a boost given the number of injuries in his squad.

Robbie Morris (back), John Muldoon (broken arm) and Johnny O’Connor (back) are all out of contention with younger squad members drafted in as cover in their absence. Dermot Murphy comes in at hooker, Aidan Wynne covers the back line with Adam Kennedy offering cover at scrum-half with Conor O’Loughlin out and Frank Murphy facing a fitness test alongside Irish hooker Cronin, who picked up a knock in training on Monday.

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