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Pro 14 Final: Glasgow Warriors take on Leinster at Celtic Park

Dave Rennie's side hope to pick up the silverware for the first time in four years.

Prize: Star men Stuart Hogg and Johnny Sexton go head-to-head.
Prize: Star men Stuart Hogg and Johnny Sexton go head-to-head. SNS Group

Glasgow Warriors face one of the biggest challenges in world club rugby if they are to win their second league crown.

Leinster are reigning Pro 14 champions, European Champions Cup runners-up and one of the most fearsome teams put together in the history of the Celtic competition.

Last year, Warriors came undone in the latter stages of the season, starting strongly but ending with a weak home semi-final defeat to Scarlets.

This time they appear to have timed their form to approach their peak for the business end of the season.

The match will be the final appearance for Warriors for Stuart Hogg after eight years, 120 caps and 30 tries. He joins Exeter Chiefs in the summer.

More than 43,000 spectators will be at Celtic Park for the championship showdown with the majority cheering on Dave Rennie's side to win the title in their home city.

Team News

Glasgow are unchanged from their 50-20 demolition of Ulster at Scotstoun. Leinster must do without the injured Devin Toner, with Scott Fardy shifting to lock and Rhys Ruddock picked at blindside flanker. Johnny Sexton return to captain the Irishmen.

Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Kyle Steyn, Sam Johnson, DTH van der Merwe, Adam Hastings, Ali Price; Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Callum Gibbins, Matt Fagerson

Replacements: Grant Stewart, Oli Kebble, Siua Halanukanuka, Ryan Wilson, Tom Gordon, George Horne, Peter Horne, Huw Jones

Leinster: Rob Kearney, Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe, Johnny Sexton, Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Scott Fardy, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan

Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Ed Byrne, Andrew Porter, Ross Molony, Max Deegan, Nick McCarthy, Ross Byrne, Rory O'Loughlin

What the coaches Say

Dave Rennie, Glasgow Warriors head coach: "We're excited to represent our city and our families at what is going to be an amazing occasion for Glasgow.

"The noise that 10,000 people make in Scotstoun is deafening, so to play in front of more than 40,000 of our supporters is going to be a special experience.

"Leinster are a world-class side with hardened finals experience, so we're going to have to play better than we have all season to lift the trophy."

Leo Cullen, Leinster head coach: "It is great to be able to call back Johnny Sexton and Rob Kearney to give us that experience in the starting team.

"We try to manage the group and have faith in the squad but there's a couple of key positions where you need freshness.

"It is a privilege to be here and we're all very excited and looking forward to what will hopefully be a very good encounter between two very competitive bunches of players."

Previous Meeting

Warriors were victorious in the teams' only other encounter this season, in Dublin in April.

Glasgow ran in five tries to Leinster's four at the RDS but it would be rash to read too much into the final scoreline of 39-24 to the visitors.

The Irish side rested several key players - including British and Irish Lions Garry Ringrose and Johnny Sexton. Star men James Ryan, Scott Fardy and James Lowe also sat out ahead of their upcoming Champions Cup semi-final against Toulouse.

Meanwhile, the Warriors named close to a full-strength team with only Oli Kebble, Ryan Wilson and Callum Gibbins unavailable through injury.

Key Clashes

The season started with Jamie Bhatti being demoted to club rugby but the prop has bounced back to finish strongly and keep Oli Kebble out of the starting line-up. He faces the tussle of his career going up against rampaging Leinster, Ireland and Lions star Tadhg Furlong this weekend.

The packs are littered with fascinating head-to-heads but the second row provides true box office. Ex-Wallaby Scott Fardy is shifted to the boiler-room next to the outstanding James Ryan and they will battle the rejuvenated Scotland star Jonny Gray and ever-growing presence of Scott Cummings for superiority. Leinster pride themselves on brutal physicality - Glasgow will have to be ready to fight fire with fire.

Many will be glued to the stand-off skirmish of Johnny Sexton and Adam Hastings, while the midfield promises to be an intriguing feud as well. Victory could lie in the killer instincts of opposing wingers James Lowe and Tommy Seymour. Kiwi Lowe has been a sensation since moving to the northern hemisphere and Seymour's semi-final brace of tries proved he is still the man for the big occasion.

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