LEINSTER v EDINBURGH Donnybrook, 5.15 Referee N Williams (Wales) Live, Setanta Sport, 5.15
Last week's defeat in Newport means Leinster aren't short on motivational material but it's safe to assume there has been some mention of January 2001, when some remarkably naive rugby allowed Edinburgh to scrape a 34-34 draw and ruin Leinster's chances of making the quarter-"nals. Or September 2003, when some injury-time verbals by David Quinlan allowed Brendan Laney to kick the winning penalty from half-way.
For skipper Reggie Corrigan, the emphasis this time around is on ruthless ef"ciency. "I read Chris Paterson saying Edinburgh like playing over here because it's always an open, freeflowing game. Maybe we need to take them on up front a bit before we think about entertaining. That's what we were lacking in Newport more than anything else, a bit of cuteness and common sense."
Even allowing for the fact that Leinster's international players are short of match practice, anything other than a convincing win is unthinkable.
Edinburgh's confidence may have been boosted by last week's 35-16 win over Cardiff at Murrayfield but this was their first win in five attempts.
The gulf in class is especially evident in the back-lines . . .imagine Leinster's luxury in having both Gordon D'Arcy and Denis Hickie on the bench.
D'Arcy's nomination for the IRB's Player of the Year award means he will attract quite a bit of fuss. Of greater longterm signficance will be the debut performance of Kiwi out-half David Holwell, especially considering Felipe Contepomi's poor display last week. As ever, sorting the out-half position is Leinster's big conundrum.
LEINSTER G Dempsey; S Horgan, B O'Driscoll, F Contepomi, G Brown; D Holwell, B O'Meara; R Corrigan (c), S Byrne, E Byrne, M O'Kelly, L Cullen, A McCullen, E Miller, V Costello EDINBURGH D Lee; C Paterson, M di Rollo, C Joiner, H Southwell; B Laney, M Blair; A Jacobsen, D Hall, C Smith, N Hines, A Kellock, T Blackadder (c), A Hogg, D Callam