Preview: Scarlets v Treviso

Date published: September 19 2014

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Centre Scott Williams will lead the Scarlets into the third round of the Pro12 campaign against Benetton Treviso at Parc y Scarlets.

Centre Scott Williams will lead the Scarlets into the third round of the Pro12 campaign against Benetton Treviso at Parc y Scarlets.

Full-back Liam Williams has passed a late fitness test to feature in the starting XV after pulling up in the warm-up ahead of the Leinster test last weekend. Centre Regan King will miss Saturday's clash with a hamstring injury and captain Ken Owens is ruled out with a neck injury.

Former Wales U20s prop Rob Evans and hooker Emyr Phillips are the only changes to the pack with Scarlets cornerstone Phil John moving to the replacements bench. It'll be an historic occasion for hooker Phillips as he joines the illustrious 100 club.

Michael Tagicakibau returns from injury to partner Harry Robinson on the wing with Gareth Owen partnering captain Scott Williams in the centre.

Scarlets will be looking to secure a home victory after a bonus point draw against Ulster in the opening round of the campaign. Scarlets are unbeaten at home since Harlequins were the visitors in the European Cup on 19th January.

Scarlets did the PRO12 double over Treviso last season and have won four of the five previous fixtures against Treviso at Parc y Scarlets in all tournaments.

Meanwhile, there are many changes from head coach Umberto Casellato for Treviso's second away game in Wales in September.

Players that keep their places are Matteo Muccignat, Rupert Harden, Corniel Van Zyl, Tomas Vallejos Cinalli and Mat Luamanu, while Sam Christie and Michele Campagnaro are in the team but in different positions.

Ruggero Trevisan – not considering Davide Giazzon who played for Aironi only as permit player – is set to become the first official Italian player to play for 3 different Italian teams in Pro12. He moved to Treviso after two seasons at Zebre and one at Aironi.

Form: Scarlets are without a win in the Guinness PRO12 so far, having drawn 32-all at home to Ulster and losing to Leinster in Dublin. Scarlets are unbeaten at home since Harlequins were the visitors in the European Cup on 19th January. The Welshmen did not lose to an Italian opponent last season whilst the only Italian side ever to win at Parc y Scarlets was Treviso in this equivalent fixture two seasons ago. Benetton Treviso have slipped to five straight defeats since their 45-27 victory over Dragons at Stadio Monigo in April, they at least have not been held try-less in any game since they visited Munster in March. Treviso's only victory over a Welsh region in their last nine encounters was the above success over Dragons. Scarlets did the PRO12 double over Treviso last season reversing the trend of 2012/13. Scarlets have won four of their five previous fixtures against Treviso at Parc y Scarlets in all tournaments.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Gareth Owen, 12 Scott Williams (c), 11 Michael Tagicakibau, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Rory Pitman, 7 John Barclay, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Darran Harris, 17 Phil John, 18 Peter Edwards, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Rob McCusker, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Adam Warren

Treviso: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Andrea Pratichetti, 10 Sam Christie, 9 James Ambrosini, 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Tomas Vallejos Cinalli, 6 Marco Lazzaroni, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Giovanni Maistri, 1 Matteo Muccignat
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Salesi Manu, 18 Matteo Zanusso, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Leo Auva'a, 21 Enrico Bacchin, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Henry Seniloli

Date: Saturday, September 20
Venue: Parc v Scarlets, Llanelli
Kickoff: 18:00 (local, 17:00 GMT)
Referee: Matteo Liperini (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell (Wales), Jon Mason(Wales)

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