Edinburgh Rugby v Ulster Rugby
Date: Fri 12th April 2019
Venue: BT Murrayfield
Is this the strongest Edinburgh starting XV possible without Blair Kinghorn? It certainly looks pretty close to it, with a starting centre pair of Scott and Bennett (at last) and Magnus Bradbury swapping for John Barclay. This gives the benefit of more experience off the bench whilst seeing what the destructive Bradbury can do from the start of a game.
In short, another win is really the minimum required to keep their fate in their own hands going into the final round. A try bonus as Glasgow managed against Ulster last weekend would, naturally, give them the strongest position from which to qualify.
Edinburgh Rugby: Darcy Graham, Damien Hoyland, Mark Bennett, Matt Scott, Duhan van der Merwe, Jaco van der Walt, Henry Pyrgos; Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally, Willem Nel, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, Magnus Bradbury, Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata.
Replacements: Ross Ford, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Callum Hunter-Hill, John Barclay, Charlie Shiel, Simon Hickey, George Taylor.
Ulster Rugby: Jacob Stockdale, Robert Baloucoune, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Rob Lyttle, Billy Burns, John Cooney, Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Iain Henderson, Kieran Treadwell, Nick Timoney, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee.
Replacements: John Andrew, Andy Warwick, Ross Kane, Alan O’Connor, Sean Reidy, Dave Shanahan, Peter Nelson, Angus Kernohan.
Referee: Nigel Owens
Leinster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors
Date: Sat 13th April 2019
Venue: RDS Arena
The permutations for Glasgow are less complex, although they’re in the hunt for a home semi-final spot and a week
Huw Jones returns to the bench for the first game since the Six Nations and elsewhere it is a similar strength of team to the one that dispatched Ulster in style last week. Jonny Gray reacted well to being dropped – let’s hope that reaction continues in a positive vein this week as he and both Fagersons were superb in round 19.
Leinster don’t have their top team out but it’s still a strong unit with a handy looking replacement front row, and like all the Irish sides they are always a tough nut to crack at home.
Leinster Rugby: Rob Kearney, Jordan Larmour, Joe Tomane, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Ed Byrne, James Tracy, Michael Bent, Devin Toner, Jack Dunne, Josh Murphy, Sean O’Brien, Caelan Doris.
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong, Will Connors, Max Deegan, Hugh O’Sullivan, Ciaran Frawley, Adam Byrne.
Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Kyle Steyn, Sam Johnson, Nikola Matawalu, Adam Hastings, Ali Price; Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro, Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: Grant Stewart, Alex Allan, D’arcy Rae, Bruce Flockhart, Adam Ashe, George Horne, Pete Horne, Huw Jones.
Referee: Marius Mitrea
Unavailable players: Callum Gibbins (head), Nick Grigg (ankle), Siua Halanukonuka (shoulder), Lee Jones (knee), Oli Kebble (back), Matt Smith (shoulder), Tim Swinson (ankle), George Turner (head), DTH van der Merwe (shoulder) and Ryan Wilson (knee).