SEAN LINEEN expects things to get physical when Glasgow Warriors open their Magners League campaign at home to champions Leinster tonight.
But the Glasgow head coach is confident his troops can handle the pressure - particularly after a productive pre-season which was boosted by the move into their new training centre at Scotstoun Stadium.
Friendly defeats to Sale and Wasps in the last fortnight provided good opportunities to try new ideas but Lineen knows that from now the intensity will be completely different.
He said: "Our game against Sale at Firhill was a good stepping stone but we know it's going to be a massive physical test against Leinster.
"It's always a good battle with Leinster. They've got a lot of youngsters as well but they've also got plenty experience. The back-row, which I rate very highly, is their weapon."
Lineen added: "It's the most satisfying pre-season I've had as a head coach. "We're training at Scotstoun now so we've been able to do a lot more coaching.
"The pre-season games have been good for us, we've learnt a lot from Dundee right through until Sale and Wasps. There are some areas to improve on but a lot of good stuff as well."
Lineen has been impressed with the application of some of his younger charges, particularly second-row Richie Gray, pictured, whose task it is to fill the void left by crocked captain Al Kellock.
"Richie Gray knows that Al Kellock's out for a while so he's really taking that mantle," said Lineen. "He and Tom Ryder are forming a really good second row combination."
Glasgow Warriors team to play Leinster in the Magners League at Firhill on Friday, September 3 (kick-off 7.05pm):
15 Bernardo Stortoni (cap), 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Max Evans, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Federico Aramburu, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Henry Pyrgos
1 Jon Welsh, 2 Fergus Thomson, 3 Moray Low, 4 Tom Ryder, 5 Richie Gray, 6 Ryan Wilson, 7 Calum Forrester, 8 Richie Vernon
Substitutes: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Ed Kalman, 18 Ryan Grant, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Rob Harley, 21 Duncan Weir, 22 Hefin O'Hare, 23 Peter Murchie