D'Arcy confined to Leinster bench
December 16, 2011
Gordon D'Arcy has been troubled by a minor injury © Getty Images
Reigning Heineken Cup champions Leinster will trial a new-look midfield pairing in Saturday's crunch clash with Bath at Lansdowne Road.
Experienced Ireland centre Gordon D'Arcy has been dropped to the bench after suffering a minor injury problem in training, with Fergus McFadden shifting to No.12 and Eoin O'Malley starting at outside-centre in place of the absent Brian O'Driscoll.
Elsewhere in the Leinster line-up, Shane Jennings returns at openside as Sean O'Brien moves to blindside in place of Kevin McLaughlin, who is among the replacements.
Eoin Reddan and Devin Toner are further additions to the starting XV following last weekend's narrow 18-13 win at the Rec, with Reddan partnering Jonny Sexton at halfback and Toner linking up with Leo Cullen in the second-row. Leinster are currently three points clear of Glasgow in Pool 3, with Bath a further two points back prior to the weekend's fourth round action.
Bath boss Sir Ian McGeechan is expecting a 'Test match environment' on Saturday, but he also conceded that English clubs will struggle to win Europe's top prize given the strictures of the Premiership salary cap.
"It's tougher for English clubs to win it now. I think the salary cap has done that," he said. "There has been a big investment in Ireland in their provinces - and in France - so it's no surprise that they are the teams we have to beat.
"It's 80 minutes to have a real go. We'll back ourselves to play, we have to do that. It will be a Test match environment. The players have got to make the most of it."
Bath have drafted in Sam Vesty at fullback for the clash with Nick Abendanon moving to the wing. Dan Hipkiss picked up a knock at the Rec and sits out the game while Ross Batty comes onto the West Country side's bench.
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