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'It's a huge week for us': Back to business for Leinster as they travel to face in-form Scarlets

Leo Cullen’s men are on a six-game winning streak.

WHILE THE EYES of the rugby world continue to be fixed on international matters, it’s back to business for Leinster this evening as Leo Cullen’s side resume their Pro12 campaign away to Scarlets [7.35pm, BBC Wales].

A general view of training Leinster in training for this week's game. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

After a run of six successive victories before the two-week break, the province sit pretty at the top of the table but will face a stern test of their credentials later.

Without a number of their international contingent, Leinster head to Wales to face an in-form Scarlets side who have won their last five games in the competition.

“It’s a huge week for us here,” forwards coach John Fogarty said.

“For us in here, there’s guys that will get opportunities. There’s guys that are fighting for their positions knowing that there are players coming back.

“They’ve [Scarlets] won their last five games on the bounce and are in a very strong position. I think they are one win away from going into the top four and that’s what they are going to want to do.

“It’s a hugely important week for us and we want to continue from where we left off. It’s been a positive start but we’re not done yet.”

Leinster racked up a bonus-point win against Zebre before the break thanks to a hat-trick of tries from Adam Byrne and the flying winger is once again included in Cullen’s XV for tonight’s game.

There are, however, a number of changes from last time out with the return of Dan Leavy, Luke McGrath and James Tracy — all of whom were recently capped by Joe Schmidt — providing a boost for the province.

“Like I said, this week is really really important for us to continue the momentum,” Fogarty continued. “It’s important that we prepare really well and get something from this game.

John Fogarty Fogarty speaking to the media earlier in the week. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“It’s going to be very, very difficult. The players that are here now are fighting for their positions. They know players are coming back.

“It’s results based and for this group to keep learning and evolving and moving forward so that we can get a top four finish. That’s all that matters. It’s another week where we get an opportunity to get more points.”

Scarlets:

15. Aled Thomas
14. Johnny Mcnicholl
13. Steff Hughes
12. Hadleigh Parkes (captain)
11. Steff Evans
10. Rhys Patchell
9. Jonathan Evans

1. Wyn Jones
2. Ryan Elias
3. Werner Kruger
4. Tom Price
5. David Bulbring
6. Aaron Shingler
7. James Davies
8. Will Boyde

Replacements:

16. Emyr Phillips
17. Dylan Evans
18. Peter Edwards
19. Tadhg Beirne
20. Josh Macleod
21. Aled Davies
22. Dan Jones
23. Gareth Owen

Leinster:

15. Isa Nacewa
14. Adam Byrne
13. Rory O’Loughlin
12. Noel Reid
11. Barry Daly
10. Ross Byrne
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Peter Dooley
2. Richardt Strauss
3. Michael Bent
4. Mike McCarthy
5. Ian Nagle
6. Dominic Ryan
7. Dan Leavy
8. Jack Conan

Replacements:

16. James Tracy
17. Andrew Porter
18. Oisín Heffernan
19. Ross Molony
20. Peadar Timmins
21. Luke McGrath
22. Tom Daly
23. Zane Kirchner

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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