The experienced scrum-half lined out for Ulster a total of 108 times, and has been an integral part of the Blues’ squad since his arrival in 2010. His Leinster debut in September of that year also came against Glasgow, and he will be hoping for a repeat of his try-scoring exploits from that night when the defending champions take on Gregor Townsend’s outfit.
Firhill was the venue for his competitive bow four years ago, but despite the reservations some have about the Scotstoun playing surface, Boss feels now is a perfect time for this tricky away assignment.
“It’s probably a good time to be going there, I think, at the start of the year. It can get a bit ripped up later in the year, depending on the weather. They’ve got great support there as well, which is one thing you notice. How their support has grown over the last number of years,” Boss remarked during the week.
“It will be fresh with them what happened at the end of last year as well [losing the Grand Final to Leinster].”
In the wake of Jonathan Sexton’s decision to return to the province at the end of the current campaign, Boss’ half-back partner Jimmy Gopperth will be placed under extra scrutiny, while the back-three of Zane Kirchner, Fergus McFadden and Darragh Fanning will be eager to showcase their undoubted abilities.
The international triumvirate of Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Mike Ross form a potent front-row, with Sean O’Brien captaining the side at No 8 in the absence of Jamie Heaslip. Ben Marshall receives the nod to partner Mike McCarthy at lock, and there is a welcome mixture of youth and experience amongst the replacements.
LEINSTER: Z Kirchner; FMcFadden, B Macken, N Reid, D Fanning; J Gopperth, I Boss; C Healy, S Cronin, M Ross; B Marshall, M McCarthy; D Ryan, S Jennings, S O’Brien.
Replacements: B Byrne, J McGrath, T Furlong, T Denton, K McLaughlin, L McGrath, I Madigan, M McGrath.
GLASGOW WARRIORS: P Murchie; T Seymour, M Bennett, A Dunbar, L Jones; P Horne, H Pyrgos; A Allan, F Brown, E Murray; L Nakarawa, J Gray; R Harley, C Fusaro, J Strauss.
Replacements: P MacArthur, G Reid, R de Klerk, T Swinson, A Ashe, N Matawalu, S Hogg, S Lamont.