Wasps unlikely to sting for away win.
It’s as good a time as any to play Leinster after their stuttering start to the season, although whether Wasps have the quality or confidence to take advantage remains to be seen.
The Blues are still finding their feet after the retirements of Brian O’Driscoll and captain Leo Cullen.
However, having slipped up at home to Northampton in last year’s competition – which crucially ended up costing Matt O’Connor’s side a home quarter-final – Leinster players and management have been at pains to stress the importance of avoiding a repeat defeat in Dublin in the build up to Sunday’s action.
While there have been some grumbles about Wasps supporters being sent to Coventry, they still turned out in their droves to see their team record an encouraging win against high-flying Bath in the week it was announced the club were bound for the Ricoh Arena.
Wasps and Leinster have similar form lines coming into this one, having both won three from six on the domestic front. However Wasps’ performance against Bath last weekend will have given Dai Young’s side a huge shot in the arm.
Young is developing a decent side, backboned by back-row James Haskell and second-row colossus Joe Launchbury.
Injury to Ruairidh Jackson means they have turned to veteran Andy Goode at out-half but they appear short in attacking options outside him.
These two served up a nine-try thriller when last they met, in the 2013 Amlin Cup quarter-final in Dublin. All but Isa Nacewa remain from the try-scorers that day with Wasps speedster Cristian Wade and Tom Varnell (who both scored a brace) remaining the English side’s most potent attacking weapons.
An injury to prop Marty Moore is the latest setback for Leinster coach Matt O’Connor, who is already without a number of front-liners including Sean O’Brien and Cian Healy. This game also comes too soon for new singing Ben Te’o, who only touched down in Dublin this week.
After the chopping and changing of recent weeks Leinster will field their strongest team available and look good on the handicap to prevail.
The match kicks off at 5.15pm on Sunday October 19th at RDS Arena.