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Leinster v Scarlets - RaboDirect PRO12 match preview
Leinster and Scarlets clash for the fourth time this season as the Welsh region travel to Dublin on Saturday to face the only side with an unbeaten home record in the PRO12 this season.
The Scarlets sit in fourth after a big win against Munster last weekend on home soil and now have 46 points - just three short of Leinster in third.
Leo Cullen, who was a second-half replacement in the bonus-point victory over Benetton Treviso last weekend, returns to the starting line up as skipper and partners Ben Marshall at lock.
Ireland international Shane Jennings is back in the starting line-up after missing last weekend's win and features in the back-row alongside Jordi Murphy and Dominic Ryan, who scored a hat-trick of tries last time out.
In the backline, Isaac Boss links up at scrum-half with Noel Reid, who is one of three current Academy players in the starting line-up, with Andrew Goodman continuing at centre alongside Eoin O'Malley. Fionn Carr - who makes his 35th appearance for his home province - joins Andrew Conway and Dave Kearney in the back three.
Ian Madigan and Fergus McFadden are named amongst the replacements after their release from Ireland camp after their training on Friday.
Meanwhile, Wales internationals Aaron Shingler and Josh Turnbull return to Scarlets to take their places in the back row alongside captain Rob McCusker at number eight.
Fly-half Aled Thomas moves to full-back for the injured Gareth Owen and Coach Simon Easterby keeps faith in his young nine and 10 combination with Aled Davies winning the starting scrum-half contest alongside man of the match from last weekend Owen Williams, who scored 18 points with the boot last weekend.
Leinster:15 Dave Kearney, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Eoin O'Malley, 12 Andrew Goodman, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Noel Reid, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Ben Marshall, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Michael Bent, 2 Aaron Dundon, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Sexton, 17 Jack O'Connell, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Mark Flanagan, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 John Cooney, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Fergus McFadden.
Scarlets: 15 Aled Thomas, 14 Nick Reynolds, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Rob McCusker (capt). 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Synman, 4 George Earle, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Sione Timani, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Kristian Phillips, 23 Dale Ford.
What they said...
Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby
"We have to go back to October 2007 to find the last time we won at the RDS, so we know we have plenty to do out there. Leinster have a very proud home record and we know from our encounters in Europe what intensity they can bring," said Easterby.
"We got a good win against them at the beginning of the season and that gives us heart; however we're also well aware that we caught them a bit cold that day and you won't see that in a Leinster team too often.
"We have learnt a lot from our performances in December and January and particularly our games against them in the Heineken Cup; we know that any mistakes from us will be capitalised on. They are a well-coached and well-drilled team."
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 27th March|
|19:35||Leinster vs Glasgow Warriors|
|19:35||Ulster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 28th March|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Munster vs Connacht|
|19:15||Ospreys vs Zebre|
|19:30||Treviso vs Dragons|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues|
|19:35||Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 11th April|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Munster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Scarlets|
|14:40||Connacht vs Ulster|
|Sunday 12th April|
|16:15||Dragons vs Leinster|
|Friday 24th April|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Zebre|
|19:35||Ulster vs Leinster|
|Saturday 25th April|
|TBC||Munster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Connacht vs Glasgow|
|14:30||Cardiff Blues vs Ospreys|
|16:45||Dragons vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 9th May|
|15:00||Ulster vs Munster|
|15:00||Zebre vs Connacht|
|15:00||Ospreys vs Glasgow Warriors|
|15:00||Scarlets vs Cardiff Blues|
|15:00||Leinster vs Treviso|
|15:00||Dragons vs Edinburgh|
|Saturday 16th May|
|15:00||Glasgow Warriors vs Ulster|
|Sunday 8th March|
|Dragons 26 - 22 Ulster|
|Saturday 7th March|
|Treviso 8 - 29 Edinburgh|
|Scarlets 23 - 13 Leinster|
|Ospreys 26 - 12 Munster|
|Friday 6th March|
|Cardiff Blues 18 - 17 Connacht|
|Glasgow Warriors 26 - 5 Zebre|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Connacht 53 - 5 Treviso|
|Zebre 23 - 17 Dragons|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 15 Edinburgh|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Munster 22 - 10 Glasgow Warriors|
|Friday 27th February|
|Ospreys 9 - 9 Leinster|
|Ulster 25 - 20 Scarlets|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|Dragons 25 - 30 Connacht|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Glasgow 19 - 16 Ospreys|
|Scarlets 25 - 25 Munster|
|Friday 20th February|
|Edinburgh 17 - 20 Ulster|
|Leinster 29 - 8 Zebre|
|Benetton Treviso 40 - 24 Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Leinster 14 - 16 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Zebre 10 - 54 Glasgow|
|Scarlets 32 - 14 Connacht|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Munster 33 - 16 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 13th February|
|Edinburgh 24 - 16 Ospreys|
|Ulster 43 - 3 Benetton Treviso|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com