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Leinster v Edinburgh: Teams
At RDS, Dublin, Saturday September 22, kick off 6.15pm
Leinster and Edinburgh will be looking to pile the pressure on leaders Scarlets when the teams go head-to-head in Dublin.
Both have made decent starts to the new RaboDirect PRO12 season with two victories apiece from their opening three matches.
Leinster come into the game on the back of a 19-18 win at Benetton Treviso while Edinburgh trounced Zebre on home soil last weekend.
Leo Cullen skippers a Leinster side which shows several changes to the one which defeated Treviso.
Up front Sean Cronin comes into the front row in place of Richardt Strauss and he will line up alongside international colleagues Cian Healy (making his 98th Leinster appearance) and Mike Ross.
Cullen partners Tom Denton who will make his home debut for the province, with Jamie Heaslip, Shane Jennings and Kevin McLaughlin continuing in the back row.
Wexford's Gordon D'Arcy makes his first start of the season and he will line up at centre alongside Brian O'Driscoll who scored his 55th career try for the province on what was his 160th appearance. O'Driscoll is now one ahead of D'Arcy in third place and four behind Denis Hickie's tally of 59 tries. Shane Horgan leads the all-time list on 71 tries.
Isa Nacewa returns to the starting line-up and he is named in the back three alongside Fionn Carr and Andrew Conway.
Jonathan Sexton's 14 point haul in Italy pushed him past the 800 point mark for Leinster (808 points) and the St. Mary's College out-half will make his 94thappearance on Saturday, partnering Eoin Reddan at half back.
A formidable adversary in Dublin, Leinster have lost just two games at the Showground last season, with Edinburgh's last win in the Irish capital dating back to 2005.
"Leinster have consistently been the in-form side in northern hemisphere rugby, winning three Heineken Cups and finishing in the top three of the RaboDirect PRO12 for the past eight years, narrowly missing out on the league title at the RDS last season," said Edinburgh head coach Michael Bradley.
"I've been impressed by the willingness to be meticulous in our preparations and go the extra mile this season. We will be well-prepared to face Leinster in Dublin."
Bradley has made three changes to the side that put five tries past Zebre at Murrayfield last weekend, taking the opportunity to rest try-machine Tim Visser with Tom Brown now back to full fitness.
In the pack, the return of prop Geoff Cross and flanker Roddy Grant completes the changes to the front-line, while a quality quartet of youngsters are set for their first competitive outing of the season from the bench: Robin Hislop, Robert McAlpine, Harry Leonard and Dougie Fife.
Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Tom Denton, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 John Cooney, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Brendan Macken.
Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Greig Laidlaw (c), 9 Richie Rees, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Willem Nel1, 9 Robert McAlpine, 20 Dimitri Basilaia, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Harry Leonard, 23 Dougie Fife.
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RaboDirect PRO12 Table
|Saturday 6th September|
|TBC||Munster vs Edinburgh|
|TBC||Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Glasgow vs Leinster|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Ulster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 13th September|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Munster|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Connacht|
|TBC||Ulster vs Zebre|
|TBC||Leinster vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 20th September|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Ulster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Munster|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Edinburgh|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Connacht vs Leinster|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow|
|Saturday 27th September|
|TBC||Leinster vs Cardiff Blues|
|TBC||Munster vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Ulster|
|TBC||Glasgow vs Connacht|
|Saturday 4th October|
|TBC||Leinster vs Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com