Schmidt mixes things up


Rugby:Jonathan Sexton will edge closer to his 100th Leinster cap tomorrow evening after being named in the starting line-up for the match with Edinburgh at the RDS. Sexton’s late, late drop goal recued Leinster in Treviso last weekend and the outhalf is retained for the match at the RDS.

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt has made a number of changes to his side, deploying Gordon D’Arcy alongside Brian O’Driscoll in the centre for the first time this season while Tom Denton will make his home debut for the province in the second row.

The visitors have not won in Dublin since 2005 but Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley is hopeful his charges can buck that trend tomorrow evening. Bradley has made three changes to the side that put five tries past Zebre at Murrayfield last weekend, taking the opportunity to rest Tim Visser with Tom Brown now back to full fitness.

In the pack, the return of prop Geoff Cross and flanker Roddy Grant completes the changes to the front-line, while a quality quartet of youngsters are set for their first competitive outing of the season from the bench.

“We’re going into this game with a lot of confidence and a degree of excitement in terms of the possibility of what we can achieve,” said Bradley. “There’s a lot to build on from our first three games, having played well in a number of key areas.

“The difference will come in the number of chances we can create as Leinster’s defence has been the key component in their success in recent years. I think they will focus on that element against us because of the type of side we are but, if we create enough chances and continue to increase our conversion rate from the last three games, then we’ll be confident of winning this game.”

Leinster:I Nacewa; A Conway, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, F Carr; J Sexton, E Reddan; C Healy, S Cronin, M Ross; L Cullen, T Denton; K McLaughlin, S Jennings, J Heaslip. Replacements:T Sexton, H van der Merwe, J Hagan, D Toner, J Murphy, J Cooney, I Madigan, B Macken.

Edinburgh:G Tonks; L Jones, N De Luca, M Scott, T Brown; G Laidlaw, R Rees; J Yapp, R Ford, G Cross; G Gilchrist, S Cox; S McInally, R Grant, N Talei. Replacements:A Titterrell, R Hislop, W Nel, R McAlpine, D Basilaia, C Leck, H Leonard, D Fife.

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