It wasn’t always pretty at the RDS last week, but Leinster nudged their way past Irish rivals Ulster with an 8-3 win that wasn’t just welcomed, but demanded.
Glasgow came from 6-3 down to secure a shaky 13-6 win over Treviso at home last week and back rower Murphy, though aware of the possible pitfalls, believes it’s possible to snatch some more crucial points.
“They are a top quality side and current champions. It is a very tough place to go and win but they were overturned by Northampton there two weeks ago only. We know we can go over and do it. We are neck and neck in the table and it is one of those games that we both really want to win. It’s only a week to go after that to the Champions Cup, there is a lot on the line, yeah it would be the right kind of place to go over and try and recapture your form.”
Murphy starts at No.8 this week, Rob Kearney and Dave Kearney return after injury and Ian Madigan switches from centre to out- half to play alongside Eoin Reddan in his 125th appearance for the province.
Head coach Leo Cullen has called up Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss and Marty Moore to start together in the front row and Tom Denton will partner Mike McCarthy in the second row.
There is a little less experience in the Glasgow front row with 21-year-old academy hooker James Malcolm making his first start, but plenty of seasoned players elsewhere, amongst them skipper Johnny Gray, Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Duncan Weir and Mike Blair. Finn Russell and Sean Lamont are all named on the bench.
Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend sees the game as challenging: “Leinster have been the best team in our league over the last five or six years and they’ve got real quality.”
Leinster have won their last four Pro12 fixtures since defeat at Scarlets in round four. The Irish side are attempting to do a regular season double over Warriors for the first time since 2012/13.
S Hogg; T Naiyaravoro, A Dunbar, P Horne, T Seymour; D Weir, M Blair; R Grant, J Malcolm, S Puafisi; L Nakarawa, J Gray (captain); J Strauss, S Favaro, A Ashe.
Replacements. S Mamukashvili, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Z Fagerson, T Swinson, R Harley, A Price, F Russell, S Lamont.
R Kearney; Z Kirchner, B Te’o, L Fitzgerald, D Kearney; I Madigan, E Reddan; C Healy, R Strauss, M Moore; T Denton, M McCarthy; R Ruddock (captain), J van der Flier, J Murphy.
S Cronin, P Dooley, T Furlong, R Molony, D Ryan, I Boss, C Marsh, G Ringrose
Nigel Owens (WRU)