Leinster looking for a comfortable Italian job

There will be no TV or radio coverage accompanying Leinster’s Italian venture tomorrow afternoon but the Guinness PRO12 date with Benetton Treviso won’t slip completely under the radar with Joey Carbery back in harness.

The young out-half starts on the bench this weekend. It will be his first involvement since injuring an ankle away to Northampton Saints in December and any game time he sees will be of interest nationwide given his emergence in green under Joe Schmidt three months ago.

Not to mention Jonathan Sexton’s recent injury profile.

Mike Ross is another notable name on the bench. The veteran tighthead last played back in November, on Leinster’s previous trip to Italy, when he picked up a hamstring problem against Zebre that subsequently cost him three months of the season.

Dave Kearney features on the wing for the first time since October. Richardt Strauss is another key figure to have battled back from injury in recent times and the hooker captains Leinster for the first time tomorrow against a side that has won just two of their 13 league games to date this term.

Facing them is a Treviso side stripped to the bones by Six Nations duties of nine players. Filling the gaps left in their absence are 11 players from the domestic Italian league. This can’t be anything but comfortable for the visitors.

BENETTON TREVISO:

D Odiete; A Pratichetti, T Iannone, A Sgarbi, L Sperandio; I McKinley, T Tebaldi; F Zani, L Bigi, T Pasquali; F Gerosa, T Paulo; M Lazzaroni, D Budd, R Barbieri.

LEINSTER:

Z Kirchner; A Byrne, R O’Loughlin, N Reid, D Kearney; R Byrne, J Gibson-Park, P Dooley, R Strauss, M Bent; M Kearney, I Nagle; D Ryan, D Leavy, J Conan.

Referee:

D Jones (WRU).

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