Kevin McLaughlin returns to captain Leinster

The Leinster team to face Benetton Treviso in Thursday night’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash in the RDS (KO: 7.05pm) has been named.

Dubliner Colm O’Shea will make his debut for the province and the 21-year-old former Belvedere College SJ centre – who has featured in four British & Irish Cup games so far this season – will form a midfield partnership with Brendan Macken in a team mixed with youth and experience.

Isaac Boss links up with Ian Madigan at half back, with Fionn Carr forming a pacey back three alongside Darren Hudson and Isa Nacewa.

Kevin McLaughlin leads the team after recovering from injury and is named in a back-row alongside fellow Ireland international Shane Jennings as well as Leo Auva’a.

Heinke van der Merwe makes his 49thappearance for the province and the South African is joined by Richardt Strauss and Nathan White in the front row.

There will be the usual ‘Family Day’ activity around the ground from 5.30pm. Meanwhile, ticket sales for Thursday’s game have passed the 15,600 mark and there will be tickets on sale on the gate. Tickets are on sale from the Leinster Rugby Store (Donnybrook), Spar (Donnybrook) and Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.

Starting XV:
15: Isa Nacewa
14: Darren Hudson
13: Brendan Macken
12: Colm O’Shea
11: Fionn Carr
10: Ian Madigan
9: Isaac Boss
1: Heinke van der Merwe
2: Richardt Strauss
3: Nathan White
4: Damian Browne
5: Devin Toner
6: Kevin McLaughlin (C)
7: Shane Jennings
8: Leo Auva’a

Replacements:
16: Tom Sexton
17: Jack McGrath
18: Jamie Hagan
19: Mark Flanagan
20: Jordi Murphy
21: John Cooney
22: Noel Reid
23: Andrew Boyle

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