Leinster set for special Welsh welcome at the Gnoll

Robin McBryde hopes Leinster can maintain their winning roll tonight, at the Gnoll (7.35pm, TG4).

Leinster set for special Welsh welcome at the Gnoll

Robin McBryde hopes Leinster can maintain their winning roll tonight, at the Gnoll (7.35pm, TG4).

The Irish province face Ospreys away at the famous old Neath rugby ground rather than the more modern Swansea City Liberty Stadium.

McBryde, a former Wales international, is excited to be leading Leinster to such a “throwback” venue and he admitted some of his players are too.

“It’s one of those grounds that as a rugby player and a rugby fan, you’d love to go to,” he said. “It has got a proud history, proud tradition. It’s one of the founding member clubs of the Welsh Rugby Union. It can be quite an intimidating place, especially if there’s a full house. The crowd is right on top of you.

“Tadhg Furlong, he keeps going on about the time he went to Sardis Road and played Pontypridd.

“That’s stuck in his mind and he thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Hopefully it’ll be the same on Friday night, because as a player you want to enjoy the occasion as well.”

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Leo Cullen has made eight changes to the side that beat Cheetahs last weekend. James Tracy, Josh Murphy, Scott Penny, Jamison Gibson-Park, Conor O’Brien, James Lowe, Cian Kelleher and Hugo Keenan are the new faces with six academy players on the bench.

Ospreys have Wales pair Owen Watkin and Adam Beard available again for tonight’s game. The hosts have made one change from the side that defeated Ulster with number eight Dan Baker replacing Gareth Evans. Leinster top Conference A while Ospreys prop up the section.

OSPREYS: C Evans; H Dirksen, O Watkin, K Williams, L Morgan; L Price, A Davies; N Smith, S Otten, S Gardiner, A Beard, B Davies, D Lydiate (capt), O Cracknell, D Baker.

Replacements: S Parry, G Thomas, G Gajion, L Ashley, S Cross, S Venter, T Thomas-Wheeler, J Hook.

LEINSTER: H Keenan, C Kelleher, J O’Brien, C O’Brien, J Lowe, C Frawley, J Gibson-Park, P Dooley, J Tracy, M Bent, R Molony, S Fardy, J Murphy, S Penny, R Ruddock.

Replacements: S Cronin, M Milne, J Aungier, J Dunne, R Baird, R Osborne, H Byrne, T O’Brien.

Referee: Stuart Berry (WRU).

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