Preview: Treviso v Leinster

Date published: February 10 2017

Treviso return to the PRO12 after a two-week break as they face off with Leinster at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo on Sunday.

The line-up will be David Odiete at full-back, Andrea Pratichetti and Luca Sperandio on the wings while Tommaso Iannone and captain Alberto Sgarbi will be outside and inside centre respectively.

The half-backs are Tito Tebaldi at scrum-half and Ian McKinley at fly-half.

The front row will consist of Federico Zani, Luca Bigi and Tiziano Pasquali while in the second-row Filippo Gerosa and Teofilo Paulo will bind up. The back-row sees Marco Lazzaroni, Dean Budd and Robert Barbieri completing the XV.

Meanwhile, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has announced his 23 to take on Treviso.

There is a welcome return to the matchday squad for a number of players that have been sidelined by injury for some time, while Irish international Richardt Strauss will lead Leinster for the first time on the occasion of his 139th cap.

The back-three features Zane Kirchner at full-back with Adam Byrne continuing on the right wing and Dave Kearney returning for his first game since October when he injured his ankle against Cardiff Blues. The Louth native is one try away from 100 points for Leinster.

In the centre it’s a St Michael’s combination with Noel Reid and Rory O’Loughlin filling the 12 and 13 jerseys respectively. Reid will win his 75th Leinster cap on Sunday in Italy.

Jamison Gibson-Park is partnered by Ross Byrne in the half-backs.

In the pack Peter Dooley and Michael Bent will scrum down at loosehead and tighthead with Strauss at hooker in the front-row.

At lock Mick Kearney and Ian Nagle start with Dominic Ryan, Dan Leavy and Jack Conan completing the forward unit.

Mike Ross makes his first match day squad since the away trip to Zebre in early November when a hamstring injury picked up in that game kept him out of the game for over three months.

Like Ross, there is a welcome return for Joey Carbery on the bench. The Clontarf man injured his ankle in the Round 3, Champions Cup game away to Northampton Saints in December.

Form: Treviso have had a dissappointing set of results recently. In their last three games they beat Zebre 23-12 at home, before losing to Glasgow Warriors and then travelling to Rodney Parade and suffering a big defeat to the Newport Gwent Dragons 26-8. Leinster seem to be going the other way in terms of gaining form rather than losing it. In their last three games they lost to Munster 29-17, and then went back to Dublin where they played Ulster and beat them 22-7. Leinster then hosted Zebre where they clobbered the poor Italian tourists 70-6.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 David Odiete, 14 Andrea Pratichetti, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Alberto Sgarbi (c), 11 Luca Sperandio, 10 Ian McKinley, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Dean Budd, 6 Marco Lazzaroni, 5 Teofilo Paulo, 4 Filippo Gerosa, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Federico Zani
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Matteo Zanusso, 19 Francesco Minto, 20 Guglielmo Zanini, 21 Enrico Francescato, 22 Michael Tagicakibau, 23 Andrea Buondonno

Leinster: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Adam Byrne, 13 Rory O’Loughlin, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Dan Leavy, 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Ian Nagle, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Richardt Strauss (c), 1 Peter Dooley
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Andrew Porter, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Peadar Timmins, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Barry Daly

Date: Sunday, February 12
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Kick-off: 15:05 local (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Dan Jones (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Rhys Thomas (Wales), Andrea Spadoni (Italy)