Ahead of our Pro12 fixture against Irish province, Leinster on Saturday evening (kick off 7.35pm), our man Ryan Robinson takes a look at our next opponents and gives some handy tips for those fans making the trip across the Irish sea.
Opposition view: Leinster
Pro 12 position: 2nd
Champions Cup position: 1st
Stadium: Royal Dublin Society (RDS)
Leinster have made a fantastic start to the Pro12 season and sit second in the table, having lost only twice in away defeats to Glasgow Warriors and the Scarlets. The defeat to Scarlets last weekend was preceded by wins over Zebre, Connacht and an emphatic victory over Munster. Leinster have a 100% home record in the league this season and it will be a tough game for the Men of Gwent.
Leinster are also top of their Champions Cup group, with one win and one defeat so far. They find themselves in a difficult group, alongside Northampton Saints, French giants Castres and Montpellier. Qualification from this group would be a good achievement for the Irish province, despite their rich history of success in European competition.
How to get to the stadium
There are several buses that go to the RDS stadium from across Dublin. Aircoach can be used to go directly from the airport to the stadium. From the city centre, buses 4,7,8,18 and 46a all stop at the RDS.
Short for Dublin Area Rapid Transit, it is a quick way to reach the stadium. Both Lansdowne Road and Grand Canal Dock stations are within a 5-minute walk to the stadium.
The stadium is located on the R118. You can join this from Trinity College and drive for approximately 2km. Parking is available at the ground, for a small fee when you arrive. To check availability, you can call + 353 1 668 0866.
Best place to eat and drink (inside the stadium)
There is an official supporters bar at the stadium which welcomes away supporters. It is called the Laighin Out bar and has food and drink available as-well as Wi-Fi, big screens and on occasion, player interviews before and after the match.
There is also the Centurion Bar at the entrance to the Anglesea stand. Numerous food outlets can be found in the Grandstand and the Anglesea Stand.
Best place to eat and drink (outside the stadium)
Leinster fans have suggested Donnybrook Village as a good place to go before the game. It is a fifteen-minute walk from the stadium and contains chain fast food outlets as-well as independent bars and restaurants.
For something closer to the ground, there are the options of The Horseshoe House, The Bridge and Paddy Cullen’s all within 300m of the stadium.
Leinster danger men
Hard to say without knowing how many of their internationals will be rested following their heroic efforts in the Autumn Internationals. One would imagine that players involved in Saturday’s match against Australia are unlikely to feature against the Dragons, but Leinster still have incredible strength in depth with Isa Nacewa and Adam Byrne likely to cause problems. Other notable players pointed out from the Leinster fan base are Dan Leavy, Joey Carberry and Jamison Gibson- Park.
What Leinster fans think of the Dragons
Dragons' Danger Men:
Leinster fans highlighted 4 players that they think will cause them problems. These were Tyler Morgan, Ashton Hewitt, Rynard Landman and Sarel Pretorius (they clearly didn't see Ollie Griffiths' and Angus O'Brien's performances on the weekend). With these 4 in the side, we have the capabilities to take on anyone on their own patch.
Chances of winning:
Being unbeaten at the RDS since February last year means Leinster fans are rightly confident of their side winning again against the Dragons.
Trips to Ireland are always difficult, but having said that, there are positives for the Dragons ahead of their duel in Dublin. The Gwent region were the last team to win at the RDS. We also did the double over Leinster last season and have won 4 on the bounce at home, with the team really settling in to their new style of play. A difficult side regardless of who plays, the Dragons have a lot of things going for them ahead of this match.
Leinster 22 – 24 Dragons
Ryan Robinson – Dragons community ambassador