Treviso v Leinster preview & team news

Leinster return to domestic duties tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Italy to face Benetton Treviso in the RaboDirect Pro 12 game live on RTE 2, kick off 2.00pm.

Following on from their bonus point demolition of Glasgow at the RDS last weekend the defending Heineken Cup champions will be looking to keep their good run in their domestic campaign going.

Joe Schmidt has rung the changes for this game with Shane Jennings leading a much changed side from last weeks game. Luke Fitzgerald moves to full back as Isa Nacewa and Rob Kearney are rested.

Gordon D’Arcy and Eoin O’Malley, both try-scorers in the RDS last weekend, continue in the centres with Eoin Reddan partnering Ian Madigan at half-back. There are changes also in the back three. Rhys Ruddock and Leo Auva’a join Jennings in the back row, with Damian Browne, Jamie Hagan and Ireland prop Cian Healy all starting in the front row for Leinster.

Benetton coach Franco Smith has made few changes for Saturday’s game. Apart from Luke McLean replacing Ludovico Nitoglia as fullback, Smith has gone for continunity in the backs. Up front Antonio Pavanello and Valerio Bernabò both start, while in the back row Paul Derbyshire comes back with his Italian team mates Alessandro Zanni and Robert Barbieri.

Speaking ahead of the game Smith believes that his side are improving and will test Leinster as they look to put another one of the Heineken Cup champions who they beat at home last year. 29-13 “”I’m delighted that we were disappointed with the Ospreys result,” said Smith,
“Twice they kicked the ball out at the end of the half which showed the respect they had for what we had done.

“We need to keep believing and keep working hard. Next up we’ve got Leinster who are the European champions and finalists last year as well.

“We beat them last year but we will have to be at our best to be competitive. We want to get stronger every game, that is our ambition”

For Leinster to win their mindset has to be right. If they are up for the game and come out well then they have the individual and collective talent to pick the home side off. However, if they are tardy from the off this game has the potential to break down into a dog fight which doesn’t suit Leinster’s high paced, intense game that they like to play.

Leinster are given the vote to win. I think they will win and beat the handicap. Betfair are currently offering Leinster -5.5pts at 1.02 and should be backed

15: Luke McLean
14: Benjamin De Jager
13: Tommaso Benvenuti
12: Alberto Sgarbi
11: Brendan Williams
10: Kristopher Burton
9: Tobias Botes
1: Michele Rizzo
2: Enrico Ceccato
3: Lorenzo Cittadini
4: Antonio Pavanello CAPTAIN
5: Valerio Bernabò
6: Paul Derbyshire
7: Alessandro Zanni
8: Robert Barbieri
16: Franco Sbaraglini
17: Matteo Muccignat
18: Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet
19: Benjamin Vermaak
20: Manoa Vosawai
21: Francesco Minto
22: Fabio Semenzato
23: Alberto Di Bernardo

15: Luke Fitzgerald
14: Fergus McFadden
13: Eoin O’Malley
12: Gordon D’Arcy
11: Fionn Carr
10: Ian Madigan
9: Eoin Reddan
1: Cian Healy
2: Sean Cronin
3: Jamie Hagan
4: Damian Browne
5: Devin Toner
6: Rhys Ruddock
7: Shane Jennings CAPTAIN
8: Leo Auva’a
16: Aaron Dundon
17: Jack McGrath
18: Nathan White
19: Kevin McLaughlin
20: Jamie Heaslip
21: Isaac Boss
22: Noel Reid
23: Brendan Macken

REFEREE: George Clancy (IRFU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Stefano Traversi, Matteo Liperni (both FIR), TMO: Stefano Marrama (FIR)


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