Jump to main content


RaboDirect PRO12 Preview: Benetton Treviso v Leinster

RaboDirect PRO12 Preview: Benetton Treviso v Leinster

Joe Schmidt’s Leinster have unhappy memories of the Stadio di Monigo where they lost to Benetton Treviso in the Italians’ first league season. Second time around, the Heineken Cup champions will be well aware of the potential pitfalls.

RABODIRECT PRO12: Saturday, November 26

BENETTON TREVISO (6th) v LEINSTER (2nd), Stadio di Monigo, 3pm local time/2pm Irish time (live RTÉ Two/Rai Sport)

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Team News: The Leinster team to face Benetton Treviso in Saturday afternoon’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash at the Stadio di Monigo has been named.

Shane Jennings leads a side which shows a number of changes from the team that defeated Glasgow Warriors 38-13 in the Heineken Cup last weekend.

With a number of Ireland players being rested, Saturday’s game presents an opportunity for several players including the likes of Ian Madigan, who comes in for his ninth appearance of the season.

Leinster are boosted by the return of Fergus McFadden who is named on the right wing in a back-three which also includes Fionn Carr and Luke Fitzgerald.

Gordon D’Arcy and Eoin O’Malley, who were both try scorers at the RDS last Sunday, continue in the centre with Eoin Reddan partnering Madigan at half-back.

In the pack there are starts for Rhys Ruddock and Leo Auva’a who join Jennings in the back row, with Damian Browne, Jamie Hagan and Ireland prop Cian Healy all starting.

Isaac Boss, another of the try scorers against Glasgow, is one of three Ireland internationals named amongst the replacements including Jamie Heaslip and Kevin McLaughlin.

Brendan Macken and Jack McGrath, who have impressed in recent weeks with the province’s British & Irish Cup team, will also be hoping to feature off the bench.

Meanwhile, Benetton Treviso boss Franco Smith has made three changes to the team that started last weekend’s Heineken Cup draw with the Ospreys on home soil.

Apart from Luke McLean replacing Ludovico Nitoglia at full-back, the back-line remains the same as that which took on the Welsh region.

In the pack, captain Antonio Pavanello and Valerio Bernabò will combine in the second row, while in the back row Paul Derbyshire returns to link up with his international colleagues Alessandro Zanni and Robert Barbieri.

Matteo Muccignat, Francesco Minto and Alberto di Bernardo, the reserve out-half, are the three alterations to the Italians’ replacements bench.

BENETTON TREVISO: Luke McLean; Benjamin de Jager, Tommaso Benvenuti, Alberto Sgarbi, Brendan Williams; Kris Burton, Tobie Botes; Michele Rizzo, Enrico Ceccato, Lorenzo Cittadini, Antonio Pavanello (capt), Valerio Bernabò, Paul Derbyshire, Alessandro Zanni, Robert Barbieri.

Replacements: Franco Sbaraglini, Matteo Muccignat, Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, Benjamin Vermaak, Manoa Vosawai, Francesco Minto, Fabio Semenzato, Alberto di Bernardo.

LEINSTER: Luke Fitzgerald; Fergus McFadden, Eoin O’Malley, Gordon D’Arcy, Fionn Carr; Ian Madigan, Eoin Reddan; Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Jamie Hagan, Damian Browne, Devin Toner, Rhys Ruddock, Shane Jennings (capt), Leo Auva’a.

Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Jack McGrath, Nathan White, Kevin McLaughlin, Jamie Heaslip, Isaac Boss, Noel Reid, Brendan Macken.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Stefano Traversi, Matteo Liperni (both Italy)
Television Match Official: Stefano Marrama (Italy)

Match Odds (Paddy Power): Benetton Treviso to win: 7/4; Draw: 20/1; Leinster to win: 4/9

Pre-Match Quotes: Devin Toner (Leinster) – “I missed the Treviso game last year. I did my AC joint (in a pre-season game) against Leicester and missed the opening three league games.

“But I watched it on TV and remember the game. It was drilled into us again (this week), we just got bullied in that game.

“Treviso are going absolutely brilliantly at the moment. They’ve a chance to become the first Italian side to finish in the top four of the league.

“They’re coached brilliantly well, they’re well drilled and they have a great pack. We’re going to be up against it.

“They were unlucky not to get away with a win against the Ospreys in the Heineken Cup last weekend. They had four wins in-a-row before losing to Edinburgh, so they’re going to be looking to put the record straight. They’ve done fabulously well.”

Franco Smith (Benetton Treviso) – “Next up we’ve got Leinster who are the European champions and league finalists last year as well. We beat them last year but we will have to be at our best to be competitive.

“We want to get stronger every game, that is our ambition. After the draw with Ospreys, it’s important than we learn the lessons. It’s not just about what we do, it’s about reacting to what has happened.

“Leinster will be a well-prepared squad and we will make some changes because we have a few guys who haven’t really had a rest since the World Cup.

“But I also want to keep some continuity in the side and as they don’t have too many weaknesses we will concentrate on our strengths and try to pressure them that way.”

Top Scorers – 2011/12 RaboDirect PRO12: Benetton Treviso – Points: Kris Burton 88; Tries: Ludovico Nitoglia, Brendan Williams 3 each; Leinster – Points: Isa Nacewa 70; Tries: Ian Madigan 3


Saturday, September 18, 2010 – Benetton Treviso 29 Leinster 13, Stadio di Monigo
Friday, February 25, 2011 – Leinster 30 Benetton Treviso 5, the RDS


– Benetton Treviso’s four match-winning run in the RaboDirect PRO12 ended at the hands of Edinburgh in round 8, but the Italians won the last time they faced Irish opposition, beating Ulster 23-12 at Ravenhill on October 7

– Leinster are unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions since their 23-19 reversal at home to Glasgow Warriors in round 3 of the RaboDirect PRO12

– The Leinstermen’s only away defeat this season came on the opening weekend against the Ospreys in Swansea

– Leinster have won their last four encounters with teams from Italy

– Each side won its respective home games when the two teams clashed in the league last season