It will be just his second Leinster start of the season, but scrum-half Luke McGrath is acutely aware of the opportunity to shine against Edinburgh at the RDS.

Leo Cullen's side host the Scottish side and are looking to build on last week's 52-10 victory over Dragons at the same venue.

With Connacht (away), Munster (home) to follow in the Guinness Pro14, ahead of matches against Wasps (home) and Toulouse (away) in Europe, it is a significant block of fixtures in both competitions.

For McGrath, it is a chance to impress on two fronts. Firstly, he is taking over the number nine jersey after a very accomplished performance by Jamison Gibson-Park, particularly in attack.

"He was brilliant," the 25-year-old told RTÉ Sport.

McGrath was very much the man in possession of the jersey during last season's trophy haul, but the New Zealander is putting on more pressure with every outing.

His role in allowing Jordan Larmour utilise his pace on the wing for shortly after the interval cannot be underestimated. Nor his own try four minutes previous. Little wonder he observes the "competition is raised".

'It would be great to be involved in November but to do that, I need to be playing well'

Also there is the little matter of the November internationals looming on the horizon. Conor Murray's injury has given McGrath, John Cooney and Kieran Marmion even greater reason were it needed to catch Joe Schmidt's eye.

The chance to add to his six international caps, especially with New Zealand rolling into town, is something that cannot be ignored. The party line is toed with assurances that Leinster is the primary focus, but the bigger picture is also at play.

"It would be great to be involved somewhat in November but to do that, I need to be playing well here.

"So just take it day by day and obviously it's a big opportunity tomorrow and then with the inter-pros and Europe, there's a lot of games coming up. It's an important part of the season for me," said McGrath.

It is a point Leo Cullen was keen to make in order to highlight the significance of the visit of Edinburgh.

"Players know that based on the next few weeks, it will have a knock-on effect what takes place in November with Ireland," said the province's head coach. There is so much at stake in these games."

The scrum-half started against Cardiff last month and came off the bench at Parc Y Scarlets as Leinster's late comeback fell just short. McGrath was involved when the visitors claimed their only try of the game and is now chomping at the bit for his first game at the RDS since last year's Pro14 semi-final victory over Munster.

Bad news for Richard Cockerill and his management team is McGrath is coming into the game without any knocks to report.

"The knee and ankle have healed up well so I've no issues now. Hopefully no more injuries for the rest of the year," he says.