Preview: Cardiff Blues v Treviso

Date published: April 20 2011

Treviso play against Cardiff Blues at Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday, in their last away game of this season's Magners League.

Treviso play against Cardiff Blues on Thursday, in their last away game of this season's Magners League.

The Blues will be looking to continue their push for a play-offs spot, while the Italians will try to obtain their first long-awaited away league victory.

With a view to giving more players experience with next season in mind, Treviso coach Franco Smith has decided to make eight changes in the starting XV which beat Glasgow last Saturday at the Stadio Monigo.

Brendan Williams is rested and Joe Maddock takes his place at full-back, while on the wings Ludovico Nitoglia and Tommaso Benvenuti continue.

Alberto Sgarbi and Ezio Galon are playing in the centre, while Fabio Semenzato and man of the match from last week Willem De Waal are confirmed as half-backs.

There will be five new names in the pack: Paul Derbyshire and Alessandro Zanni start in the back row, while hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini will be the skipper for Thursday's match.

Lorenzo Cittadini and Augusto Allori will be with Ghiraldini in the front row, while Manoa Vosawai is starting as flanker. The second row is completely changed, with Valerio Bernabò and Francesco Minto.

Franco Sbaraglini, Benjamin Vermaak and Andy Vilk all start from the bench.

Meanwhile, Cardiff Blues have named an unchanged side to face Benetton Treviso for their final home game of the season.

“Treviso are a team that caused us bags of problems over in Italy so we know that this won't be an easy game for us. If I'm being truthful and realistic it's a game that we should win and one we have to win,” said Cardiff Blues Director of Rugby, David Young.

“Hopefully we can get the result and then it tees up the two big Welsh derby matches to finish off the season. We know if we lose one game we are relying on other people, which obviously we don't want.

“I think we've wrestled the ascendancy back our way and if we win the three games we go through. It's in our own hands and that's all you can ask for at this stage of the season.

“No matter who you are playing, if it's in your own hands you've only got yourselves to blame if things don't go your way.”

Form: Cardiff Blues are unbeaten in their last two Magners League matches, and have a perfect played eight, won eight record in previous encounters with Italian sides in all competitions. Benetton Treviso's 19-16 victory over Glasgow last weekend ended a six game losing run. This game is Treviso's last chance this season to record a maiden Magners League victory outside of Italy. The two teams have met just once before; in Treviso in round four with the visitors gaining a 19-7 victory.

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tom James, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Martyn Williams, 6 Ma'ama Molitika, 5 Paul Tito (c), 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Gareth Williams, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Deiniol Jones, 20 Michael Paterson, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.

Treviso: 15 Joseph Maddock, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Ezio Galon, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Ludovico Nitoglia, 10 Willem De Waal, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Paul Derbyshire, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Manoa Vosawai, 5 Valerio Bernabò, 4 Francesco Minto, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (c), 1 Augusto Allori.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 19 Benjamin Vermaak, 20 Robert Barbieri, 21 Simon Picone, 22 Andrew Vilk, 23 Luke McLean.

Date: Thursday, April 21
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Kick-off: 19.05 BST
Referee: Neil Paterson