(Photo: Getty Images)
By Jake Jones
The first semi-final sees a repeat of last season’s Pro12 semi-final between Leinster and Scarlets but this time the game will be played at the Aviva Stadium.
The Scarlets are steadily building something special in West Wales under Kiwi, Wayne Pivac and he will be spurring his charges on to repeat the feat at the RDS last season.
The Llanelli side showed signs of nerves in their quarter final win versus La Rochelle, 29-17 which will have put the scale of the task ahead of them into perspective. Leinster, on the other hand, showed their steeliness to dispatch back-to-back winners, Saracens, 30-19 in front of a packed house at the Aviva.
Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac said: “We’re in the same competitions so we face each other often.
“This is the first clash since that semi-final last year with our top sides out.
“Both sides know there’s a massive prize at the end of the day.”
Stuart Lancaster, Leinster head coach referenced last season’s Pro12 semi final at the RDS in the lead up to the semi final at the Aviva, “We’ve learnt a lot from that game.”
“Didn’t manage the game that well especially when they (Scarlets having Steffan Evans sent off) had a man sent off”
Speaking about Robbie Henshaw’s condition ahead of the game after recovering from the shoulder injury that ended his 6 nations campaign early, “Robbie’s in better condition than I’ve ever seen him and I fully expect him to be up to speed.”
15 Kearney, 14 McFadden, 13 Ringrose, 12 Henshaw, 11 Nacewa; 10 Sexton (Capt), 9 Gibson-Park; 1 Healy, 2 Cronin, 3 Furlong, 4 Toner, 5 Ryan, 6 Fardy, 7 Leavy, 8 J Murphy.
16 Tracy, 17 McGrath, 18 Porter, 19 Molony, 20 Conan, 21 McCarthy, 22 Carbery, 23 Larmour
15 Patchell; 14 Halfpenny, 13 S Williams, 12 Parkes, 11 S Evans; 10 D Jones, 9 G Davies; 1 R Evans, 2 Owens (Capt), Lee, 4 Beirne, 5 Bulbring, 6 Shingler, 7 J Davies, 8 Barclay.
16 Elias, 17 D Evans, 18 Kruger, 19 Rawlins, 20 Cummins, 21 A Davies, 22 Hughes, 23 Boyde.
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