Preview: Benetton Treviso v Leinster

Date published: November 25 2011

Treviso have made three changes to their starting XV for Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 match against Leinster at the Stadio di Monigo.

Treviso have made three changes to their starting XV for Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 match against Leinster at the Stadio di Monigo.

In the only change in the back-line, coach Franco Smith has replaced Ludovico Nitoglia with Luke McLean at full-back.

Amongst the forwards, flanker Paul Derbyshire replaces Benjamin Vermaak to renew his back row partnership with Italy team-mates Alessandro Zanni and Robert Barbier.

Valerio Bernabò comes in for Cornelius van Zyl at lock. His fellow second-rower Antonio Pavanello will captain the side.

Matteo Muccignat (front row), Francesco Minto (flanker) and Alberto Di Bernardo (fly-half) are the three changes on the replacements bench.

Meanwhile, Shane Jennings leads a Leinster side which shows a number of changes from the team that defeated Glasgow Warriors 38-13 last weekend.

With several Ireland players being rested, Saturday's game presents an opportunity for a number of players to prove their worth. Fly-half Ian Madigan is one such player as he comes in for his ninth appearance of the season having touched down on three occasions so far.

Leinster are boosted by the return of Fergus McFadden who is named on the right wing in a back three which also includes Fionn Carr and Luke Fitzgerald.

Gordon D'Arcy and Eoin O'Malley – both try-scorers last weekend – continue in the centres with Eoin Reddan partnering Madigan at half-back.

In the pack, there are starts for Rhys Ruddock and Leo Auva'a who join Jennings in the back row, with Damian Browne, Jamie Hagan and Ireland prop Cian Healy all starting.

Isaac Boss, a try scorer against Glasgow, is one of three Ireland internationals named amongst the replacements. The others are Jamie Heaslip and Kevin McLaughlin. They are joined by Brendan Macken and Jack McGrath who have impressed in recent weeks with the British & Irish Cup team.

Form: Benetton Treviso's four game winning run in the RaboDirect PRO12 ended at the hands of Edinburgh in round eight. The Italians won the last time they faced Irish opposition: 23-12 against Ulster at Ravenhill on 7 October. Leinster are unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions since their 19-23 reversal at home to Glasgow in round three of the RaboDirect PRO12. The Leinstermen's only away defeat this season came on the opening weekend against Ospreys in Swansea. Leinster have won their last four encounters with adversaries from Italy. Each side won its respective home games when the two teams clashed in this tournament last season.

The teams:

Benetton Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Benjamin De Jager, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Brendan Williams, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Paul Derbyshire, 5 Valerio Bernabò, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 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.

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

Date: Saturday, November 26
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Stadio di Monigo
Referee: George Clancy
Assistant referees: Stefano Traversi, Matteo Liperni
Television match official: Stefano Marrama