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Heineken Cup Pool 1: Leinster v Castres match preview

Last updated: 19th October 2013  

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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.

One change

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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Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
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European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Harlequins vs Castres
Saturday 18th October
13:00Sale vs Munster
15:15Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Leicester vs Ulster
15:15Glasgow vs Bath
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton
Sunday 19th October
17:15Leinster vs Wasps
15:15Toulon vs Scarlets
13:00Toulouse vs Montpellier
13:00Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 24th October
19:45Munster vs Saracens
Saturday 25th October
13:00Ulster vs Toulon
19:45Scarlets vs Leicester
15:15Bath vs Toulouse
17:15Montpellier vs Glasgow
17:15Northampton vs Ospreys
Sunday 26th October
13:00Clermont Auvergne vs Sale
15:00Castres vs Leinster
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
17:15Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92
Saturday 6th December
TBCMunster vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCSale vs Saracens
TBCCastres vs Wasps
TBCHarlequins vs Leinster
TBCUlster vs Scarlets

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