Preview: Scarlets v Treviso

Date published: February 23 2012

The Scarlets welcome back several Wales internationals for Thursday's RaboDirect PR012 clash with Treviso at Parc y Scarlets.

The Scarlets welcome back several Wales internationals for Thursday's RaboDirect PR012 clash with Treviso at Parc y Scarlets.

The Llanelli-based side's Dragons contingent will provide a strong bench to draw upon for this fixture – with Liam Williams (wing), Lou Reed (second row), Aaron Shingler (back row) and Rhodri Jones (Prop) all back in Scarlets shirts.

Having won their last five league games at home, the West Wales region will be looking to extend their winning ways and their best home run since moving to the new stadium in 2008.

The Scarlets narrowly lost their hold on their last two games on the away circuit in recent weeks with a nail-biting finish away to Leinster last weekend so it's a big welcome home after three matches on the road in the past month.

The region's head of rugby Nigel Davies is keen for his troops to return to their winning ways.

“It was tough on the players last week at the RDS, that was a hard-fought, physical game and we competed against them very well,” he said.

“It always going to swing on a couple of key moments, unfortunately it was a really tough call in the end and I was really disappointed for the players they put their all into that performance.

“It was hard to be too critical of them as they did exactly what we asked of them – to go there and compete and we were on even terms throughout that game.

“We take a lot out of that performance and will bring that level of commitment and passion into this must-win game on Thursday night,” added Davies.

He welcomed the boost of the internationals released back to the Scarlets.

“It's great to have some of our international players back but they haven't trained with us and with greater competition now for places it's the right decision to have an effective and high impact bench – as it's been another short turnaround for us with a Thursday night game.”

Meanwhile, Treviso continue their Celtic adventure after losing against two Irish teams in recent weeks.

They are missing 15 first-choice players, through injuries and international duty.

Coach Franco Smith has selected the back three seen in Dublin against Leinster with Ludovico Nitoglia starting at full-back and Benjamin De Jager and Brendan Williams as the wings.

In the midfield Andrea Pratichetti is playing with Tommaso Iannone, who returns in his old role as outside centre while Willem De Waal and Simon Picone are the half-back pairing.

Up front, Marco Filippucci starts t number eight, while Gonzalo Padrò and Manoa Vosawai return as first-choice flankers.

The starting locks are Valerio Bernabò and Enrico Pavanello, who reaches his 216th cap with Trviso, passing Alessandro Troncon and Piero Dotto and equalling Valter Cristofoletto in the top 10 of the club's all-time appearance list.

The front row seesPedro Di Santo and Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet starting as the props with captain Franco Sbaraglini at hooker.

There are also some significant changes on the bench, where Enrico Ceccato, Augusto Allori and Carlo Fazzari are the front row replacementswhile Benjamin Vermaak covers lock and the back row.

Diego Vidal is, however, the utility replacement, as the hooker is also likely to replace a back row player.

Back-line cover will be provided by Gonzalo Garcia, Alberto Di Bernardo, and Ezio Galon.

Form: Scarlets have slipped to three successive defeats in all competitions, but have won their last five RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures at Parc y Scarlets – their best run since moving to the new stadium in 2008. Treviso's only victory in their last eight matches in all tournaments was a 37-14 win over Italian rivals Aironi on New Year's Eve. Treviso have won three times on the road this season, at Glasgow, Ulster and Connacht. Treviso have not been victorious in Wales since December 2007, when they beat the Dragons 24-22 at Rodney Parade. The Italian outfit won 20-10 at the Stadio Monigo in round five of the RaboDirect PRO12, and have won two of the three previous fixtures against Scarlets in this tournament.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Dan Newton, 14 Lee Williams, 13 Gareth Maule (capt), 12 Adam Warren, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dominic Day, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Craig Hawkins, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Peter Edwards, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Nick Reynolds, 23 Liam Williams.

Treviso 15 Ludovico Nitoglia, 14 Benjamin De Jager, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Andrea Pratichetti, 11 Brendan Williams, 10 Willem De Waal, 9 Simon Picone, 8 Marco Filippucci, 7 Gonzalo Padrò, 6 Manoa Vosawai, 5 Valerio Bernabò, 4 Enrico Pavanello, 3 Pedro Di Santo, 2 Franco Sbaraglini (c), 1 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet.
Replacements: 16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Augusto Allori, 18 Carlo Fazzari, 19 Benjamin Vermaak, 20 Diego Vidal, 21 Ezio Galon, 22 Gonzalo Garcia, 23 Alberto Di Bernardo.

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