Munster will look to maintain the momentum despite O’Mahony’s absence
PRO12 PREVIEW: Saturday – Munster v Benetton Treviso, Thomond Park (2.0)
Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony during the captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Munster must plan without O’Mahony who returned to Ireland camp.
Munster will look to maintain the momentum generated from the last handful of games and most recently a wonderful victory over the Maori All Blacks.
Rassie Erasmus makes seven changes from that match but the headlines have been commandeered by Peter O’Mahony’s return to Ireland camp and that centre Rory Scannell could be in line to make his Irish debut should Jared Payne fail a late fitness Test.
O’Mahony had been released back to Munster but Seán O’Brien’s leg twinge saw him summoned to Dublin. Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue and John Ryan, all of whom made their Ireland debuts against Canada return to the match day squad as does the in-form Dave Kilcoyne. Competitive debut Former Ireland Under-20 centre Sam Arnold will make his competitive bow for the province following a knee problem while secondrows Dave Foley (elbow) and Jean Kleyn (ankle) have successfully rehabilitated injuries.Tommy O’Donnell leads the side in his 99th appearance in the red jersey.
Treviso are without some 20 players, 11 on international duty and another nine injured, so they have had to dip into the domestic Italian league to select a handful of dual permit players. Former Leinster player Ian McKinley is named at outhalf. Even without these constraints they face a side now restored to rude health in terms of returning players and in excellent form.
MUNSTER: A Conway; D Sweetnam, S Arnold, J Taute, R O’Mahony; T Bleyendaal, D Williams; D Kilcoyne, R Marshall, J Ryan; D Foley, D O’Shea; J O’Donoghue, T O’Donnell (capt), R Copeland. Replacements: N Scannell, T du Toit, S Archer, J Kleyn, B Holland, A Lloyd, I Keatley, A Wootton. BENETTON TREVISO: J Hayward; M Tagicakibau, T iannone, A Sgarbi (capt), L Sperandio; I McKinley, T Tebaldi; A de Marchi, L Bigi, M Zanusso; F Gerosa, M van Vuren; M Lazzaroni, F Ferrarini, M Barbini. Replacements: D Giazzon, F Zani, T Pasquali, R Santamaria, F Conforti, E Francescato, A Pratichetti, D Odiete.