Despite the return of the Irish big names, the bettors have spread widely among the Italians

Despite the return of the Irish big names, the bettors have spread widely among the Italians

United Rugby Championship: Leinster v Benetton, RDS, 19:35, Directa Su TG4 E Premier Sport

Leo Collin seems to have made a mission statement for his first home game of the season. Nine Irish internationals will make their season debuts, including seven who featured in Ireland’s historic win in New Zealand, with 11 changes made from the side that ultimately struggled to beat Sepre a week ago.

Gary Ringrose leads the side alongside midfielder Robbie Henshaw, who has started all three Tests, and five forwards in the group, namely Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, James Ryan, Josh van der Vlaer and Kylan Dorris.

Four other summer tourists also start, with Jimmy O’Brien, Jordan Larmour, Ciaran Frawley – named after his outings against the Maori All Blacks – and Ryan Bird starting at blindside wing. Frawley’s choice of Andy Farrell influence is perhaps the most interesting.

There is also a strong place with five newcomers from last week in Ronan Kelleher, Ed Byrne, Ross Moloney, Ross Byrne and Charlie Ngatai. Will Connors continues to return as a substitute, while Cian Healy and Cormac Foley complete the 23rd.

Marco Portolami may have fancied his side’s chances against Leinster last week, given their defensive split in midfield and out wide, which helped them concede three of their five tries from the first leg.

Bortolami brought six players off the bench to make eight team changes that were worth all the extra 33-11 points scored against Glasgow a week ago. Italian captain Michel Lamarro is one of those changes, but they travel without highly influential backlash Reno Smith and scrum-half Devald Duvanage.

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Scottish scrumhalf Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 29, makes his seventh first-team debut since arriving from Exeter, with former Italy Under-20 Manfredi Albanese, 21, by his side. He made his debut for the national team against Portugal in the summer.

As you’d expect from a team coached by former Italian Bottolamy, Benetton have solid set pieces and varied attacking play, with last week’s double try, Argentine winger Ignacio Mendy at full back, and effective tracking despite the absence of Duvenage. To shoot penalty kicks.

With two pre-season games to go, Benetton also had an extra day, so a 35-point handicap might be a bit harsh. And despite Leinster having a 17-2 record in head-to-head encounters with Benetton, two draws and a 61-17 win at Treviso last March, the Italians have been a tricky opponent for Leinster in their last two away games to the RDS. . In April 2018 they suffered their second home defeat in 38 games, and a year later they drew 27.

However, despite all their competitive advantage at the Stadio de Monaco where they won five of URC’s nine games last season, Benetton’s only away win came against Zebra. In fact, Benetton have only won once outside Italy in the URC since 2018, against the Dragons in March 2020 in their last match before the pandemic.

Leinster: Jamie O’Brien, Jordan Larmour, Gary Ringrose (CAPT), Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Kieran Frawley, Luke McGrath, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Michael Alalatua, James Ryan, Jason Jenkins, Ryan Bird, Josh, Kaylan V. Doris

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Alternative: Ron Keeler, Ed Byrne, Cian Healy, Ross Moloney, Will Connors, Cormac Foley, Ross Byrne, Charlie Ngate

Benetton: Ignacio Mendy, Mattia Bellini, Joaquin Rera, Marco Sanone, Onesi Rataf, Giacomo da Rey, Sam Hidalgo-Kline, Ivan Nemer, Giacomo Nicoterra, Simone Ferrari, Niccolò Canoni, Scott Crafton, Giovanni Pettinelli (Michele Pettinelli)

Alternative: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Federico Zani, Filippo Alungi, Karl Wegener, Henry Time Stores, Manfredi Albanese, Tommaso Menoncello, Ratova Tavoyara.

administration: Jacko Pepper (SARA).

Weather forecast: Leinster got another point.

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