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Benetton Rugby vs Leinster Rugby
Guinness Pro[12-16]
Stadio Comunale Monigo, Treviso
Saturday, 10th October 2020, 18:15 (17:15 Irish time)

TV: Live on Eir Sports

Leinster got their season off to a solid start last week with a professional if dreary win over the Dragons in the RDS. For any neutrals though they were lucky if they switched stations over to the Ulster - Benetton game instead. That match was an absolute cracker, especially the breathless first half where both teams just seemed to run everything. Benetton trailed 14-0 early in the half but recovered to lead by three well into the second half. Ulster eventually came back to win 35-24 but Benetton were very unfortunate to leave with no points for their efforts.

Last season Benetton were hoping to capitalise on the previous campaign where they reached the play-offs for the first time and were very unlucky to lose to Munster. It didn't quite happen though and they only won 6 of their 15 games in the end. But they still have a solid base to their side and they'll be hoping to build on last week's encouraging performance. Kieran Crowley has named a strong team. Toa Halafihi, Abraham Steyn and Sebastian Negri form a strong back row. In the backs Ratuva Tavuyara, Luca Morisi and Monty Ioane are the dangermen.

For Leinster it will be the last week for about a month and a half that their main Ireland internationals are available. The Dragons match was a physical one and unfortunately more names were added to an already lengthy injury list. So Leo Cullen hasn't been able to rotate his side as much as he'd like. There are just two changes in the backs with Robbie Henshaw and Ross Byrne coming in. There are a further four changes in the pack with James Tracy, Ryan Baird, Caelan Doris and Will Connors coming in to start. Garry Ringrose captains the team from the centre and Tom Clarkson will likely be seeing a lot of action over the next few weeks with the amount of injured tightheads.

This could well be a tougher examination for Leinster tomorrow evening and frankly that's no a bad thing.

Team Lineups

Benetton Rugby

Leinster Rugby
Teams Jayden Hayward 15 Hugo Keenan
Ratuva Tavuyara 14 Jordan Larmour
Luca Morisi 13 Garry Ringrose (C)
Marco Zanon 12 Robbie Henshaw
Monty Ioane 11 James Lowe
Paolo Garbisi 10 Ross Byrne
Dewaldt Duvenage (C) 9 Jamison Gibson-Park

Cherif Traore 1 Ed Byrne
Hame Faiva 2 James Tracy
Tiziano Pasquali 3 Michael Bent
Irne Herbst 4 Ryan Baird
Eli Snyman 5 James Ryan
Sebastian Negri 6 Caelan Doris
Abraham Steyn 7 Will Connors
Toa Halafihi 8 Jack Conan

Replacements Gianmarco Lucchesi 16 Sean Cronin
Nicola Quaglio 17 Cian Healy
Simone Ferrari 18 Tom Clarkson
Niccolo Cannone 19 Ross Molony
Federico Ruzza 20 Rhys Ruddock
Giovanni Pettinelli 21 Luke McGrath
Callum Braley 22 Harry Byrne
Edoardo Padovani 23 Jimmy O'Brien

Not Considered
due to Injury
Tommaso Allan,
Derrick Appiah,
Tomas Baravalle,
Ignacio Brex,
Matteo Drudi,
Riccardo Favretto,
Thomas Gallo,
Michele Lamaro,
Marco Riccioni,
Federico Zani

Dan Sheehan,
Dan Leavy,
Vakh Abdaladze,
Conor O'Brien,
Peter Dooley,
Adam Byrne,
Dave Kearney,
Tadhg Furlong,
Johnny Sexton,
Ciaran Frawley,
Max Deegan,
Andrew Porter
Officials Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2020-10-09