Preview: Leinster v Treviso

Date published: May 7 2015

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It has been a 2015 to forget for Leinster so far but they need to turn things around quickly to be sure of a Champions Cup place.

After back-to-back losses to Toulon and Ulster, the Irish side were out of the running both in Europe and domestically, so all that remains is to secure a top six spot.

With just five points separating them from seventh-placed Edinburgh, Leinster still have some work to do, but a home game with Treviso is about as good as they could have hoped to get things back on track.

A bonus-point success would leave the Irish side five points clear of Edinburgh at the very least before the two teams meet in the Scottish capital next weekend.

Treviso have plenty of reason to put up a fight, with a Champions Cup battle of their own for the Italian spot in next year's competition.

Currently three points clear of Zebre, Treviso may well get in even if they don't pick up another point, but any sort of result in Dublin would certainly make life easier.

Next week they welcome the Scarlets, while Zebre have games against Connacht and the Blues to come, so Treviso aren't home and dry just yet.

Leinster have shown they mean business by naming a strong side with five changes from the side that lost to Ulster last time out.

Dave Kearney comes in for the injured Luke Fitzgerald while Ian Madigan replaces Gordon D'Arcy at inside centre and Eoin Reddan gets the nod at scrum-half.

Up front there are two changes, with Jack McGrath coming in for Cian Healy and Jordi Murphy replacing Dominic Ryan.

Treviso have also made changes, with Andrea Pratichetti shifting from centre to the wing, as Enrico Bacchin comes into the side. In the pack Francesco Minto drops to the bench, replaced by Niccola Cattinà.

Form: Leinster have obtained only two victories from their last ten matches in all tournaments since mid-January – at home to Zebre in round 15 of the Guinness PRO12 and against Bath in the quarter-final of the European Champions Cup in April. The Leinstermen have lost just one of their last eleven home games in all competitions: 14-16 to Newport Gwent Dragons at the RDS Arena on 15th February. Leinster's most recent defeat to an Italian opponent came on a trip to Treviso in the PRO12 in September 2010. Benetton Treviso have lost their last five Guinness PRO12 matches and conceded a try bonus point in each one. The Italian's only victory on the road in the PRO12 this season came when they visited Zebre on 28th December. The two sides shared a 24-all draw when they met at Stadio Monigo in round 8, whilst Treviso's five previous visits to Dublin in all tournaments have all ended in heavy defeats, conceding a try bonus on four of those occasions.

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Zane Kirchner, 13 Ben Te'o, 12 Ian Madigan, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip (c), 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Jordi Murphy, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Michael Bent, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Gordon D'Arcy, 23 Darragh Fanning

Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Andrea Pratichetti, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Enrico Bacchin, 11 Ludovico Nitoglia, 10 Sam Christie, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Nicola Cattina, 6 Paul Derbyshire, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Davide Giazzon,1 Matteo Zanusso
Replacements: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Romulo Acosta, 18 Salesi Manu, 19 Meyer Swanepoel, 20 Francesco Minto, 21 Marco Lazzaroni, 22 Angelo Esposito, 23 James Ambrosini

Date: Friday 8 May
Venue: RDS Arena, Dublin
Kick-off: 19:35 local
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Ken Imbusch (Ireland)
TMO: Jude Quinn (Ireland)

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