Treviso v Munster Team News

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Munster travel to Italy on Saturday to face Treviso in the RaboDirect Pro12 with veteran outhalf Ronan O’Gara set to start; kick-off is at 3.15pm (GMT).

Mick O’Driscoll will captain the side that also includes Peter O’Mahony and Donnacha Ryan, with Felix Jones named on the bench after a seventh month layoff due to a foot ligament injury.

Munster are without Irish internationals Paul O’Connell, Donncha O’Callaghan and Conor Murray, while Mike Sherry narrowly missed out on selection after being named in the provisional squad for Saturday’s game on Wednesday.

Munster have 11 players who were not considered due to injury including David Wallace (knee), Jerry Flannery (calf), Doug Howlett (Achilles) and Denis Leamy (hip), while Keith Earls is still on leave to spend time with his newly born baby girl.

Tomas O’Leary will partner O’Gara in the half-back pairing, Simon Zebo and Johne Murphy will be on the wings and Lifeimi Mafi and Danny Barnes are in the centre.

Munster were scheduled to travel to Italy last weekend until their clash with Aironi was called off due to snowfall and the visitors will have to contend with an Italian side that includes players still motivated from the national side’s narrow defeat to England in the Six Nations.

Winger Giovanbattista Venditti scored a try against England on Saturday and if it were not for the wayward kicking of his provincial teammate Tobias Botes, Italy may have secured their first win over England that day.

Treviso’s two victories over Irish sides this year have come away from home and Munster have the better record against the Italians; winning two out of their last three meetings.

Munster: 15 D Hurley; 14 J Murphy, 13 D Barnes, 12 L Mafi, 11 S Zebo; 10 R O’Gara, 9 T O’Leary; 1 W du Preez, 2 D Varley, 3 BJ Botha; 4 D Ryan, 5 M O’Driscoll (capt), 6 Dave O’Callaghan, 7 P O’Mahony, 8 J Coughlan.

Replacements: 16 D Fogarty, 17 M Horan, 18 S Archer, 19 B. Holland, 20 T O’Donnell, 21 D Williams, 22 S Deasy, 23 F Jones.

Treviso: 15 Ludovico Nitoglia, 14 Tommaso Iannone, 13 Ezio Galon, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Brendan Williams, 10 Willem De Waal, 9 Fabio Semenzato; 1 Matteo Muccignat, 2 Franco Sbaraglini, 3 Pedro Di Santo, 4 Antonio Pavanello (capt), 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 6 Paul Derbyshire, 7 Benjamin Vermaak, 8 Marco Filippucci.

Replacements: 16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Augusto Allori, 18 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Gonzalo Padrò, 21 Gonzalo Garcia, 22 Edoardo Gori, 23 Alberto Di Bernardo.


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