Rugby Union: Leinster ready for Wallaby machine

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The Independent Online
WORTHY world champions on the pitch and magnificent ambassadors off it, the Australians return to Lansdowne Road this afternoon almost a year since beating Ireland 19-16 in a memorable World Cup quarter-final here.

Despite having conquered the world, the All Blacks and the Springboks, in that order, over the last 12 months, 11 of the side that won the World Cup will begin the Australians' 13-match tour of Ireland and Wales against Leinster today.

Mounting pressure from younger understudies partly explains the incumbents' desire to maintain such a hectic schedule, according to their coach, Bob Dwyer, who was reappointed yesterday as Australia's rugby coach for 1993. But clearly a drop of porter goes down well too 'Everybody enjoyed the visit to Ireland last season and wanted to come back,' Dwyer said.

Michael Lynagh's team will be somewhat rusty, a perennial problem for tourists in their opening match, but after a full week's training in Dublin Dwyer said: 'We are anxious to get out on to the paddock and get a match under our belts.'

Needless to say, the Leinster coach, Jim Glennon, does not share the popular conception that his team are merely being served up as whipping boys: 'Those who suggested that could be in for a surprise.' However, injury has deprived him of two key players - prop and captain Nick Popplewell and mercurial stand-off Paul Hennebry. Anything less than a

30-point defeat would constitute something of an achievement.

LEINSTER: C Clarke (Terenure); D O'Brien (Clontarf), V Cunningham (capt, St Mary's), M Ridge, N Woods; A McGowan (all Blackrock), F Aherne (Lansdowne); H Hurley (Old Wesley), J Murphy (Greystones), D Dowling (St Mary's), B Rigney (Greystones), J O'Callaghan, K Leahy (both Wanderers), P Lawlor (Bective), R Love (Old Wesley).

AUSTRALIA: M Roebuck; D Campese (both New South Wales), J Little, T Horan, P Carozza; M Lynagh (capt), P Slattery (all Queensland); T Daly, P Kearns, E McKenzie (all NSW), R McCall, J Eales (both Queensland), W Ofahengaue, T Gavin (both NSW), D Wilson (Queensland).

Referee: D Bevan (Wales).