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Strauss to captain Leinster for the first time

Richardt Strauss

Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen has announced the Leinster 23 to take on Benetton Treviso in the Guinness PRO12 on Sunday in the Stadio Monigo (Kick Off: 12.30pm (Irish time) – no TV or radio coverage).

There is a welcome return to the match day squad for a number of players that have been sidelined by injury for some time, while Irish international Richardt Strauss will lead Leinster for the first time on the occasion of his 139th cap.

The back three features Zane Kirchner at full back with Adam Byrne continuing on the right wing and Dave Kearney returning for his first game since October when he injured his ankle against Cardiff Blues. The Louth native is one try away from 100 points for Leinster.

In the centre it’s a St Michael’s combination with Noel Reid and Rory O’Loughlin filling the 12 and 13 jerseys respectively. Reid will win his 75th Leinster cap on Sunday in Italy.

Jamison Gibson-Park is partnered by Ross Byrne in the half backs.

In the pack Peter Dooley and Michael Bent will scrum down at loose head and tight head with Strauss at hooker in the front row.

At lock Mick Kearney and Ian Nagle start with Dominic Ryan, Dan Leavy and Jack Conan completing the forward unit.

Mike Ross makes his first match day squad since the away trip to Zebre in early November when a hamstring injury picked up in that game kept him out of the game for over three months.

Like Ross, there is a welcome return for Joey Carbery on the bench. The Clontarf man injured his ankle in the Round 3, Champions Cup game away to Northampton Saints in December.

There is no live TV or radio coverage and as a result match updates can only be found on the Leinster Rugby social media channels.

LEINSTER (Leinster caps in brackets):

15. Zane Kirchner (78)
14. Adam Byrne (14)
13. Rory O’Loughlin (14)
12. Noel Reid (74)
11. Dave Kearney (107)
10. Ross Byrne (14)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (18)
1. Peter Dooley (29)
2. Richardt Strauss CAPTAIN (138)
3. Michael Bent (77)
4. Mick Kearney (16)
5. Ian Nagle (7)
6. Dominic Ryan (109)
7. Dan Leavy (29)
8. Jack Conan (42)

16. Bryan Byrne (15)
17. Andrew Porter (5)
18. Mike Ross (144)
19. Ross Molony (34)
20. Peadar Timmins (4)
21. Luke McGrath (65)
22. Joey Carbery (12)
23. Barry Daly (5)

Referee: Dan Jones (WRU, 3rd competition game)
Assistant Referees: Rhys Thomas (WRU), Andrea Spadoni (FIR)
Citing Commissioner: Stefano Marrama (FIR)

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