Opportunity knocks for Deasy against travel-sick Treviso
It says something about the measure of adrenalin coursing through red veins at the moment that an injury-ravaged Munster side are still expected to rack up a bonus-point win at their citadel this evening.
A team jam-packed with seasoned internationals ought to mock the debilitating injury and suspension crisis that has dogged Tony McGahan's side since their relatively successful opening Heineken Cup bows.
Scott Deasy will be at full-back for Munster, with Paul Warwick dropping to the bench as part of just four changes to the side that destroyed Toulon here six days ago.
It will be Deasy's first start of the season, although he has come off the bench on three occasions and was in the match-day squad for the Magners League game against Leinster and the two Heineken Cup matches.
Marcus Horan's wrist injury rules him out of contention and captain Denis Leamy has earned a break having played in six of Munster's seven games to date, while Niall Ronan is also given a well-deserved rest.
Leamy's place at No 8 goes to James Coughlan, a try scorer when he came on as a replacement against Toulon.
An interesting addition to Munster's burgeoning options off the bench is Ivan Dineen. The 23-year-old from Ballinlough in Cork is on a short-term training contract and caught the eye with his performance at outside-centre against Leinster in the 'A' game in Donnybrook last month and most recently against Llanelli in the British & Irish Cup game in Waterford last week.
From a strong GAA background -- his father is a Blackrock clubman -- Dineen played for CBC in the 2005 Senior Schools final, when they lost to Pres, and has represented Munster at U-19/20 level and Ireland at U-19s.
He went on to play his club rugby with UCC before making the move to Cork Constitution this season.
Treviso have emerged from a gruelling two weeks of Heineken Cup action -- where they narrowly failed to pull off a magnificent shock against Leicester -- by radically weakening their squad ahead of their Irish trip.
Amongst the new faces are Brendan Williams and Ludovico Nitoglia, while at centre, Andrew Vilk and Ezio Galon return. It is also all change at half-back with Fabio Semenzato and Kristopher Burton starting.
The front row also changes, with Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet coming in at tight-head and Franco Sbaraglini at loose-head, while hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini will captain the team.
The second row is filled by Enrico Pavanello and Valerio Bernabo, while flankers Benjamin Vermaak and Francesco Minto will make their debuts in the Magners League, with the latter also making his official debut in the green and white jersey.
The pack is completed by Robert Barbieri at No 8, while hooker Enrico Ceccato and prop Augusto Allori will start from the bench.
Munster lead the Magners League after five rounds, have won their last three home games in all competitions and have a perfect played 10, won 10 record against Italian teams.
Benetton Treviso have lost their only two away games this season, at Ospreys in the Magners League and at Perpignan in the European Cup. Italian teams are yet to tally a single league point on their travels in the Magners League this season.
The two teams have met on four previous occasions, with Munster easily victorious each time and, armed with a 19pt handicap from the bookies, McGahan's side should hurdle those odds with ease.
Munster -- S Deasy; D Howlett, K Earls, J Murphy, D Hurley; R O'Gara, P Stringer; W du Preez, D Varley, J Hayes; M O'Driscoll, D Ryan; A Quinlan, D Wallace, J Coughlan. Reps: M Sherry, D Hurley, T Buckley, D O'Callaghan, P O'Mahony, D Williams, P Warwick, I Dineen.
Benetton Treviso -- B Williams; L Nitoglia, E Galon, A Vilk, B De Jager; K Burton, F Semenzato; F Sbaraglini, L Ghiraldini capt, I Fernandez Rouyet; E Pavanello, V Bernabo; F Minto, B Vermaak, R Barbieri. Reps: E Ceccato, A Allori, P Di Santo, Antonio Pavanello, M Filippucci, T Benvenuti, T Botes, S Picone.
Ref -- D Jones (WRU)