Benetton v Leinster: Peter Dooley set for 100th provincial game

Prop set to notch landmark before joining Byrne, Hawkshaw and Murphy out west

URC: Benetton v Leinster, Saturday March 5th, Stadio Monigo (kick-off 12.55pm, live on RTÉ, Premier Sports and URC TV)

Peter Dooley will become the latest Leinster centurion when Leo Cullen's men take on Benetton at Stadio Monigo in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Although he is reportedly set to join Connacht at the beginning of next season - along with Adam Byrne, David Hawkshaw and the already-announced Josh Murphy - the Offaly native will make his 100th senior appearance for Leinster in Treviso. On what will be his first start of the current campaign, Dooley lines out in the frontrow with Seán Cronin and Thomas Clarkson.

In total, there are nine changes to the Blues' starting line-up from Friday week's 21-13 victory against Emirates Lions. Among those to come into the team are Jimmy O'Brien and Jordan Larmour, both of whom trained with the Ireland squad in the lead-up to last weekend's Six Nations game against Italy before missing out on match day selection.


They are joined in the backthree by Tommy O'Brien, player of the match for Leinster in that aforementioned win over the Lions. For the third game succession, the Byrne brothers - Ross and Harry - form a creative axis at 10 and 12 with team captain Luke McGrath and Jamie Osborne their respective halfback and centre partners.

In the secondrow, 20-year-old academy star Joe McCarthy will pick up another appearance alongside Ross Molony, who also spent time in the international camp last week.

Having scored his fourth try in as many games off the bench the last day out, Scott Penny is rewarded with a start in a backrow that also includes Irish internationals Rhys Ruddock and Max Deegan.

Cullen has opted for a host of experienced faces such as Devin Toner, Dan Leavy and Dave Kearney on the bench as his charges look to overcome Marco Bortolami's Italians and finish the weekend at the summit of the URC table.

Leinster: J O'Brien; J Larmour, J Osborne, H Byrne, T O'Brien; R Byrne, L McGrath; P Dooley, S Cronin, T Clarkson; R Molony, J McCarthy; R Ruddock, S Penny, M Deegan.

Replacements: J Tracy, E Byrne, M Ala'alatoa, D Toner, D Leavy, C Foley, R O'Loughlin, D Kearney.

Benetton: A Coetzee; L Pani, J Riera, F Drago, R Smith; T Albornoz, A Garbisi; F Zani, C Els, N Tetaz; N Piantella, C Wegner; M Meggiato, L Cannone, T Halafihi.

Replacements: T Baravalle, M Drudi, C Traore, A Steyn, A Izekor, L Petrozzi, M Zanon, L Sperandio.