Read the five key talking points from Leo Cullen’s press briefing ahead of Friday night’s match against Zebre at the RDS Arena.

Guinness PRO12 action returns to the RDS Arena for the first time since New Year’s Day when Zebre visit on Friday night and ahead of the game Leo Cullen spoke to the media about the Italian side, injured players returning and other key talking points.

1. Fergus McFadden’s Ireland call up

“He’s had plenty of rugby under his belt this week anyway. He was in with us Sunday morning, the morning of the (Ireland) game, because our guys were off last week. He trained with us Sunday and Monday went out to Carton. He trained with Ireland on Tuesday, came back and watched our session, went to meetings on Wednesday, went back to Carton Wednesday night, trained with the lads [on Thursday]. Fergus had trained with us Sunday/Monday, there was a chance he was going to get released back, there was a chance he was going to stay in. We had the contingency in place anyway, he would’ve been on the bench for us. The fact he’s involved with Ireland now, Cian Kelleher comes in on the bench for us.”

Fergus McFadden

2. Impressive Zebre not to be taken lightly

“Zebre have performed particularly well this year. Even in their last game against Munster where they were missing, I think, 12 or 14 players involved in that Italian squad, and a couple of injuries as well. They were still able to perform at a very high level. They were very close to beating Munster, and Munster wouldn’t have been missing as many players as Zebre were. They’ve picked up four wins already in the PRO12. Particularly impressive were their home and away wins over Treviso in that local derby – big win they had against Cardiff as well. They’ve had some really impressive performances this year and we’ll be in for a tough battle.”

Ben Te'o

3. Importance of RDS crowd for young players

“Hopefully we get a crowd in the RDS. A lot of those young guys that would’ve played there in our last (home) game against Bath will get a chance to play again, so hopefully we’ll get some similar support.”

4. Taking positives from Dragons defeat

“We’d a slow start which allowed Dragons into the game. We’d a lot of younger, less experienced guys in the group. There’s always a little bit tentativeness, trying to feel their way into the game. They’ll be better for that experience. We were in that game, we were four points behind and we’ve a lot of phases inside the Dragons 22, we’re very close to the try line which we don’t quite execute on. We back ourselves to go for the corner on a couple of occasions and we don’t come up with a positive result. Unfortunately we give up the bonus point at the end as well. Those points away from home can be so vital as well. But again, it’s part of the learning experience, painful as it may be.”

Garry Ringrose

5. Injured players returning

“We’ve a little bit of experience coming back into the mix this week; Cian Healy and Mike Ross in the front row, in particular. They’re a bit shy on game time but the experience they will bring will be invaluable. The likes of Isa Nacewa as well, who’s coming back in, he’s such a key figure for us. That calm voice that he brings as well. We’ll be hopeful of a big performance from our team.”

Leinster face Zebre tonight in the RDS Arena and tickets are available from €;15 for adults and €;10 for under 18s.

Tickets can also be purchased from the RDS Ticket Office (inside Gate D on the Anglesea Road) from 6pm.

Leinster v Zebre