Leinster v Clermont Auvergne - Heineken Cup match preview

Last Updated: 14/12/12 5:42pm

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Eoin Reddan (R): Comes into the Leinster line-up in place of Isaac Boss

Eoin Reddan (R): Comes into the Leinster line-up in place of Isaac Boss

Sky Bet

Leinster have made four changes to their starting XV for the return clash of their Heineken Cup double-header with Clermont Auvergne at Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

The Irish outfit will be hoping that home advantage will propel them to victory in what is a crucial contest in the fight for top spot in Pool Five.

The back-line remains largely unchanged from the 15-12 defeat in France last time out, with the only alteration seeing Eoin Reddan replacing Isaac Boss at scrum-half.

However, Leinster coach Josef Schmidt has decided to shuffle his pack as Shane Jennings comes in for Kevin McLaughlin in the back row.

There are two changes in the front row, with Cian Healy and Sean Cronin dropping to the bench to be replaced by Heinke Van Der Merwe and Richardt Strauss at prop and hooker respectively.

Meanwhile, fly-half Brock James faces a late fitness test for Clermont, who will be in pole position for a home quarter-final if they can claim a second straight victory over the defending champions.

David Skrela will replace James if he is unable to play, with Benson Stanley then set to provide cover from the bench.

If James can play the only changes will see Julien Bardy and Raphael Chaume come into the side at flanker and prop respectively.

Leinster: 15 Ian Madigan, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Gordon D'Arcy, 12 Andrew Goodman, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Damien Browne, 4 Leo Cullen (capt), 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Heinke Van Der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Kevin McLaughlin, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Andrew Conway, 23 David Kearney.

Clermont Auvergne: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Aurelien Rougerie (c), 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Brock James/David Skrela, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Raphael Chaume.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Loïc Jacquet, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Ludo Radosavljevic, 22 David Skrela/Benson Stanley, 23 Regan King.

What they said...

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt

"It is difficult enough to beat Clermont, let alone start chasing points that are very difficult to get."

Clermont scrum-half Morgan Parra

"We've played this double-header once already (in the 2010-11 season). After conceding a defensive bonus point at home we went to Dublin with good intentions before exploding.

"We don't want to relive that experience. We'll need to show that we've made some progress."

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