Loosehead prop master Peter Dooley, who is due to move to Connacht in the summer, will mark a significant milestone in northern Italy with his 100th performance in Treviso.
The Offaly native, who made his debut in 2014, is one of several Leinster players to take to the pitch in the summer when Andy Friend strengthens his side by taking on Josh Murphy, Adam Byrne, David Hawkshaw and Dooley.
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has made several changes to the side that defeated the Lions 21-13 last weekend. Ross Molony, Jordan Larmour and Jimmy O’Brien return from Ireland.
Three of the changes are happening at the back: Jimmy O’Brien comes in for Max O’Reilly at full-back, Larmour starts in place of Dave Kearney with Tommy O’Brien changing wing, while Luke McGrath skips the team in the scrum-half in place of Nick McCarthy.
There are six changes at the top with only a promising suspension. Joe McCarthy and Rhys Ruddock, who switched to blindside flanker after making his 200th appearance last weekend, are the only two to keep their starting spots.
Dooley will start his first start of the season on a new front row starting with Seán Cronin and Thomas Clarkson while Ross Molony takes over Devin Toner on the second row.
Scott Penny will hope to add to his five attempts in the competition this season as he starts on the open side and takes over at No. 8 Max Deegan.
Leinster travel to Treviso knowing that a win will keep them top of the table and they have lost just once in 13 visits to the Stadio Monigo and that was in 2010 when they lost 29-13.
This will be the 21st clash between the teams, with Leinster winning 16, losing twice and drawing twice.
Benetton have not won since beating Zebre 39-14 at Christmas and with 13 players on international duty they went down 29-7 to the Lions last weekend after losing 13-3 in Glasgow and had drawn with the Dragons at Newport 13:13.
They have won just four of their 11 games this season, in six defeats and a draw, and despite so many absences on international duty face another tough afternoon against a strong Leinster side.
Benetton – A Coetzee; Pani L, Riera J, Drago F, Smith R; T Albornoz, A Garbisi; F Zani, C Els, N Tetaz; N Piantella, C Wegner; M Meggiato, L Cannon, T Halafihi. Substitutes: T Baravalle, M Drudi, C Traoire, A Steyn, A Izekor, L Petrozzi, M Zanon, L Sperandio.
Leinster—J O’Brien; J Larmour, J Osborne, H Byrne, T O’Brien; R Byrne, L McGrath; Dooley P, Cronin S, Clarkson T; R Molony, J McCarthy; R Ruddock, S Penny, M Deegan. Substitutes: J. Tracy, E. Byrne, M. Ala’alatoa, D. Toner, D. Leavy, C Foley, R. O’Loughlin, D. Kearney.
Benetton vs Leinster,
Live, RTE Sport, 1.0
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/pro14/prop-peter-dooley-set-for-100th-leinster-game-in-treviso-41413955.html Prop Peter Dooley preparing for the 100th Leinster game in Treviso