5 Talking Points Ahead Of Leinster’s Inter-Pro Clash With Ulster
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Leinster host provincial rivals Ulster today at the RDS, with the men from up north the latest side set to attempt to stop Leo Cullen’s men, and their incredible run of form.
Ulster showed their resolved last weekend, by coming from behind to secure a bonus-point win over a weakened Munster, but they’re facing a completely different animal this weekend in Leinster.
Leo Cullen has proved in recent weeks that he has arguably the best squad in Europe right now, with incredible strength in almost every position. Can they be stopped by Les Kiss’ men?
Here are five talking points ahead of the game.
The skipper returns.
Rory Best makes his Ulster return this weekend and his timing couldn’t be more perfect. Ulster need to get him match fit ahead of their European double, and Joe Schmidt will want him firing in time for their Six Nations opener. Hopefully Best can get a good 60 minute shift under his belt today.
Another chance for Larmour.
This is probably Jordan Larmour’s final chance to impress Joe Schmidt to at least include him in his training squad for the upcoming Six Nations. The fullback has been hugely impressive over the Christmas period, and might even play his way in Leinster’s Champions Cup plans next week with another excellent performance.
Jack McGrath returns to Leinster’s starting line-up this afternoon as captain. The Lions loosehead has struggled ever since returning from New Zealand, slipping down the pecking order for both Leinster and Ireland. He’s been given a huge opportunity today to lead from the front and reclaim his starting berth.
Jacob Stockdale is back.
Arguably the in-f0rm back in Ireland right now, Jacob Stockdale returns to Ulster’s starting line-up for a first crack off some of the Irish internationals, after playing alongside them in November. All the talk in recent weeks has surrounded Leinster and some of their backs. It’s time for Stockdale to remind everyone why he’s hottest prospect in the country.
Big game needed for Ringrose.
Garry Ringrose has been back a few weeks now, after a long absence with a shoulder injury. But he has failed to recapture the kind of form he was in last season, that suggested he was unlucky to miss out on Lions selection. To make matters worse, a certain Bundee Aki make his Ireland debut while he was out. A big game, a few weeks even, need from Ringrose if he’s to reclaim his spot in the Ireland starting line-up.