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Heineken Cup Pool 1: Leinster v Castres match preview
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Leinster will look to build upon a good away victory over the Ospreys as they host Castres in Heineken Cup Pool 1 on Saturday.
The Irish side welcome the Top 14 champions to The Greenyards knowing that a win would see them take command of the group after the opening two fixtures.
Castres overcame Northampton by a narrow six-point margin at Stade Pierre-Antoine on Saturday, meaning they sit level on points with their hosts going into the second round of games.
But domestically they have struggled on the road this season, most recently succumbing to a heavy 34-0 defeat at Brive, as well as going down to Bordeaux-Begles and newly-promoted Oyonnax.
The two sides met at the pool stages in 2008 - each winning at home but Leinster ran-out emphatic 33-3 winners in Dublin. Indeed, Castres have won just two of their last 21 away games in the Heineken Cup and, in Ireland, they have lost all seven of their games.
Leinster make one change to the starting line up from the side that defeated the Ospreys last weekend with Martin Moore set to make his first Heineken Cup start in the front row.
They have opted not to include Springbok full-back Zane Kirchner, though, who arrived in Dublin this week.
Meanwhile, the battle for the fly-half jersey between Ian Madigan and new signing Jimmy Gopperth intensifies following the latter's excellent performance at the Liberty Stadium last week and the Kiwi starts again in an unchanged backline.
Ireland duo Fergus McFadden and Kevin McLaughlin will both make their landmark 100th appearances in Saturday's game.
Castres have made two changes to the side that beat Northampton last week as French international full-back Brice Dulin returns, while former Springbok Pedrie Wannenburg comes into the back row.
Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip (capt), 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Martin Moore, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Luke Fitzgerald
Castres Olympique: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Romain Martial, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Maxwell Evans, 10 Remi Tales (capt), 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Pedrie Wannenburg, 6 Jannie Bornman, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Mihaita Lazar
Replacements: 16 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 17 Karena Wihongi, 18 Saimone Taumoepeau, 19 Christophe Samson, 20 Ibrahim Diarra, 21 Julien Tomas, 22 Geoffrey Palis, 23 Daniel Kirkpatrick
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|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Friday 17th October|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Castres|
|Saturday 18th October|
|13:00||Sale vs Munster|
|15:15||Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne|
|19:45||Leicester vs Ulster|
|15:15||Glasgow vs Bath|
|17:15||Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton|
|Sunday 19th October|
|17:15||Leinster vs Wasps|
|15:15||Toulon vs Scarlets|
|13:00||Toulouse vs Montpellier|
|13:00||Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso|
|Friday 24th October|
|19:45||Munster vs Saracens|
|Saturday 25th October|
|13:00||Ulster vs Toulon|
|19:45||Scarlets vs Leicester|
|15:15||Bath vs Toulouse|
|17:15||Montpellier vs Glasgow|
|17:15||Northampton vs Ospreys|
|Sunday 26th October|
|13:00||Clermont Auvergne vs Sale|
|15:00||Castres vs Leinster|
|17:15||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|17:15||Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92|
|Saturday 6th December|
|TBC||Munster vs Clermont Auvergne|
|TBC||Sale vs Saracens|
|TBC||Castres vs Wasps|
|TBC||Harlequins vs Leinster|
|TBC||Ulster vs Scarlets|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com