Preview: Leinster v Aironi

Date published: September 30 2011

One week after collecting their first league victory this season against Edinburgh, Aironi travel to Dublin to face Leinster.

One week after collecting their first league victory this season against Edinburgh, Aironi travel to Dublin to face Leinster.

The Italians have made several changes from last week's side. Head coach Rowland Phillips and his staff are faced with injuries and have opt to rest some players who have played in each the first four RaboDirect PRO12 matches.

One of them is Naas Olivier, who has played every minute so far this season. The South African fly-half, who was Man of the match against Edinburgh, starts from the bench.

Tito Tebaldi and Tyson Keats pair up as a new combination. Tebaldi will play at 10, while Keats stays at scrum-half making his first appearance in the starting XV after coming off the bench in Newport two weeks ago. The back line is the same one as the Edinburgh game.

There are three changes in the forwards. Two of them are in the back row, where Josh Sole returns at blindside flanker and Simone Favaro goes to the open side. Finally, Alberto De Marchi replaces prop Matias Aguero.

Meanwhile, Steven Sykes will make his competitive debut for Leinster and he joins Ireland international Devin Toner at second row in a pack which sees Ciaran Ruddock, who will make his 2nd provincial appearance, join his brother Rhys in the back-row.

Jamie Hagan joins Richardt Strauss and Heinke van der Merwe in the front row.

Academy out-half Noel Reid comes in for his senior debut and the 21-year-old partners Cillian Willis at half back in the only change to the backline which started last weekend's 15-10 victory away to the Scarlets.

This means that Luke Fitzgerald continues his centre partnership with Eoin O'Malley while Isa Nacewa – who has kicked 45 points so far this season at an 84% success ratio – continues at full-back.

Form: Leinster's 14 match home winning run at the RDS ended in round three when Glasgow were the visitors. The Leinstermen's record against Italian teams last season was won 3, lost 1. Aironi gained their first win in the RaboDirect PRO12 with a 25-19 score at home to Edinburgh on Saturday. The Italian side are yet to win on the road since they were formed in the summer of 2010. Leinster won both encounters with Aironi last season.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Leinster : 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Fionn Carr, 13 Eoin O'Malley, 12 Luke Fitzgerald, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Noel Reid, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Leo Auva'a, 7 Rhys Ruddock (c), 6 Ciaran Ruddock, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Jack O'Connell, 19 Damian Browne, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 John Cooney, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Brendan Macken.

Aironi: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Gabriel Pizarro, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Tito Tebaldi, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Josh Sole, 5 George Biagi, 4 Joshua Furno, 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Roberto Santamaria (cap), 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Luca Redolfini, 19 Filippo Cazzola, 20 Filippo Ferrarini, 21 Naas Olivier, 22 Gilberto Pavan, 23 Riccardo Pavan.

Date: Saturday 1 October
Venue: RDS, Dublin
Kick-off: 18.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: MariusMitrea (FIR)