PRO12 final: Leinster v Glasgow to be live on BBC

BBC ALBA and BBC Two Scotland will both screen live coverage of tomorrow’s showpiece RaboDirect PRO12 final between Leinster and Glasgow.

Gregor Townsend gives instructions to his players at training this week. Picture: SNS

Coverage will start at 6pm, with the match itself beginning at 6:15pm. The programme will be presented by Calum Macaulay, with commentary from Hugh Dan MacLennan and analysis from former Scotland and Lions international John Beattie.

The clash will see reigning champions Leinster – who finished top of the standings during the regular season – host Glasgow Warriors, who were second in the campaign and are making their inaugural appearance in a PRO12 final.

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Warriors held off a late comeback from Munster at Scotstoun to book their place in the final, securing victory by the narrowest of margins in a 16-15 win but Gregor Townsend’s side will face a Leinster side that also had to battle hard in their semi-final tie, eventually overcoming Ulster 13-9 at the RDS. It has been one win apiece in the clubs’ meetings so far this season, with tries from Chris Fusaro and Jerry Yanuyanutawa, plus a Stuart Hogg conversion, helping Glasgow to a 12-6 home win in September. Their most recent encounter was a higher scoring affair at the RDS in March when, despite Glasgow tries from Nikola Matawalu and Richie Vernon plus points from the boot of Finn Russell, the Irish province recorded a tight 28-25 victory.

As well as the PRO12 title and trophy at stake, the occasion will also be an emotional one as Glasgow bid farewell to a number of players, including Chris Cusiter and Ruaridh Jackson, whilst Saturday will also mark the swansong for Irish rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll.

Glasgow managing director Nathan Bombrys added: “It’s great news for our supporters that the final will be on both channels. With the game also being shown live in Merchant Square, it means supporters can watch the game together in the centre of Glasgow, while fans travelling to Dublin will be able to enjoy our pre-match Fan Zone close to the stadium.”

Alan Esslemont, head of content for BBC ALBA, said: “We are delighted to be bringing viewers a fantastic live package. It will be the exact same programme output from BBC ALBA that will be screened live on BBC Two.”

Meanwhile, Leinster No 8 Jamie Heaslip believes his side are better than the one that lifted the trophy last season.

“It’s about what we did in pre-season. It’s about what we did on the terrible, cold, wet days in winter or yesterday in training,” he told Sports News Ireland. “If we come together and play to our standard, we’ll get the outcome that we deserve.

“I know we’ve had success over the last couple of years. If you compare it to last year, we’re in a better position.”