Leinster v Scarlets - RaboDirect PRO12 match preview
Last Updated: 23/02/13 7:42pm
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."