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Leinster 'as big a challenge as it gets'

By PA
Leinster players look on dejected after losing the Heineken Champions Cup final (PA)

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Danny Wilson is aware of the magnitude of the task his Glasgow Warriors side face in their United Rugby Championship quarter-final clash against Leinster on Saturday.

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The Scotstoun side’s head coach named a matchday 23 containing 17 internationals for the match at the RDS in Dublin.

A Warriors win over the Heineken Champions Cup runners-up would secure a home semi-final game against either Sharks or Vodacom Bulls next weekend but Wilson knows they will have to win from the position of second favourites.

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He told glasgowwarriors.org: “We’re excited to be in a quarter-final and playing away at Leinster is as big a challenge as it gets.

“Leinster have been the benchmark in the league in recent years.

“We know we go into this game as underdogs, but we’re confident that we have prepared well this week, welcome the challenge this game presents and look forward to putting our own imprint on the game.”

Wilson named an unchanged front-row from the side that started against Edinburgh a fortnight ago, meaning George Turner will once again pack down between Jamie Bhatti and Zander Fagerson.

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Rob Harley and Richie Gray combine in the second-row and 13 months on from his professional debut at the RDS, Gregor Brown is named at openside flanker for only his second start for the club, joining captain Ryan Wilson and leading carrier Jack Dempsey in the back-row.

Ross Thompson lines up outside Ali Price in the half-backs and Sam Johnson and Sione Tuipulotu link up in the centres.

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Rufus McLean continues on the wing having scored his first try in Glasgow colours at the RDS last February, with Josh McKay and Ollie Smith completing the back-three.

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Two Scotland internationals, co-captain Fraser Brown and scrum-half George Horner, return from injury to take their place amongst the replacements.

Oli Kebble comes back into the matchday 23 after missing out on the trip to BT Murrayfield, joining Brown and Simon Berghan as the front-row replacements.

Kiran McDonald and Lewis Bean are both included amongst a six-two split of forwards and backs, with Thomas Gordon wearing the number 21 jersey.

The bench is completed by Argentinian fly-half Domingo Miotti, whose impressive 20-minute cameo off the bench against Edinburgh sees him retain his place in the matchday 23.

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