herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Home salute for Jennings and D'Arcy

Leinster's Gordon D'Arcy arriving for squad training
Leinster's Gordon D'Arcy arriving for squad training

The introduction of Shane Jennings to the crowd before the game and Gordon D'Arcy after it provides the latest evidence of a club in change and an opening for a fond farewell.

The closing of careers is never the easiest of episodes to handle, especially when you carry out your work in a public arena for your province, for your country.

It will also mark the final home appearance nearing the end of Jimmy Gopperth's two-year stay in Dublin.

Outside of the emotion of personal circumstances, Leinster will have to be ready to plunder the five points that could make all the difference on the last day.

"They are what it says on the tin, basically," said Leinster coach Matt O'Connor.

"They are very physical. They play a pretty abrasive brand of footy and they are very good at the set piece, although they haven't been as dominant at scrum as they have been in recent seasons.

"They pushed a very good Munster side away from home last week. We have a lot of respect for them."

So they should have. Treviso are one of those clubs who dented Leinster's grand plan for the PRO12 by forcing a 24-all draw back in November.

"We went over there. We weren't particularly well and we probably gifted them two tries.

"It gives us a pretty good understanding that if you're not at your best then they will compete very hard in every facet of the game and will put you under pressure."

While Jennings will appear in suit and tie, D'Arcy will probably end the night on the field of play where he has become Leinster's most-capped player of all time on 256 caps ahead of his forwards coach Leo Cullen (219) and third on the list Jennings (205).

How well they have served as they leave the stage.

Leinster: R Kearney; Z Kirchner, B Te'o, I Madigan, D Kearney; J Gopperth, E Reddan; J McGrath, R Strauss, M Ross, D Toner, M McCarthy, J Murphy, S O'Brien, J Heaslip (capt).

Treviso: J Hayward; A Pratichetti, L Morisi, E Bacchin, L Nitoglia; S Christie, E Gori; M Zanusso, D Giazzon, R Harden, M Fuser, C van Zyl (capt), P Derbyshire, N Cattina, M Luamanu.

Verdict: Leinster

Pro12: Leinster v Treviso

Tonight (KO 7.35pm) live TG4

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