Preview: Edinburgh v Treviso

Date published: December 18 2014

Edinburgh boss Alan Solomons has made four changes to his starting XV for Friday’s clash with Treviso at Murrayfield.

Following back-to-back wins over London Welsh in the European Challenge Cup competition over the last fortnight – ensuring Edinburgh are one of only two teams with a 100% win record in the competition – Solomons has made three changes in the forwards and one amongst the backs.

Sam Beard moves up from the bench to start at outside centre in place of Matt Scott who picked up a hip flexor injury in last Sunday’s clash with the Exiles.

Following an ankle injury sustained in Sunday’s match, Rory Sutherland is replaced by Alasdair Dickinson at loosehead prop, David Denton returns from injury to take the number eight jersey and captain Mike Coman moves to blindside flanker.

The bench remains the same with the exception of Joaquin Dominguez who takes the number 23 shirt, replacing Beard.

Head coach Alan Solomons said: “Whilst it is great to have Dicko [Alasdair Dickinson] and Dents [David Denton] in action, it is disappointing to lose Matt Scott to injury, just as he was starting to hit his straps.

“Despite our injury problems we are still able to field a competitive side in what is an important match for us in our domestic competition.”

The two sides have met on eight previous occasions – with four wins apiece – and last met at Murrayfield in October 2013, the home side running out winners after tries from Willem Nel and Greig Tonks.

Although Treviso have yet to register a win in the last 16 matches, since beating Dragons in April, they did register a great 24-all draw at home to Leinster at the end of November.

Meanwhile, Treviso head coach Umberto Casellato has made six changes to his run-on side after last weekend’s 67-0 defeat against Northampton Saints in the European Champions Cup.

In the forwards, Corniel Van Zyl returns as captain and is paired alongside Tomas Vallejos in the second row. Up front, Davide Giazzon will be back as hooker, while in the back row Simone Favaro and Dean Budd both start.

There are only two changes among the backs, with Sam Christie wearing the number 12 jersey and Alberto Lucchese starting at scrum-half.

Form: Edinburgh’s last five fixtures in the Guinness PRO12 have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Scotsmen are unbeaten at BT Murrayfield in any tournament since Connacht were the visitors on 12th September. Edinburgh have lost their last three games against Italian opponents but have been defeated only once at BT Murrayfield by a side from Italy: Treviso in October 2012. Benetton Treviso are without a win in their last 16 matches since beating Dragons in April – they did however obtain a 24-all draw at home to Leinster in the Guinness PRO12 on 23rd November. Treviso have lost their last 21 away games in all competitions since their victory at the Scarlets in the final round of the 2012/13 campaign. The two sides have met on eight previous occasions with honours even at four wins apiece, although Edinburgh have won only one of the last four clashes.

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Sam Beard, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Tonks, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 David Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Mike Coman (c), 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 John Andress, 2 Neil Cochrane, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Stuart McInally, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Joaquin Dominguez.

Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Simone Ragusi, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Sam Christie, 11 Ludovico Nitoglia, 10 Joe Carlisle, 9 Alberto Lucchese, 8 Dean Budd, 7 Francesco Minto, 6 Simone Favaro, 5 Corniel Van Zyl (c), 4 Tomas Vallejos, 3 Matteo Muccignat, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Matteo Zanusso.
Replacements: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Jos