Preview: Treviso v Aironi

Date published: December 30 2011

Italian rugby ends 2011 with the second derby between Aironi and Treviso at the Stadio Monigo on Saturday.

Italian rugby ends 2011 with the second derby between Aironi and Treviso at the Stadio Monigo on Saturday.

After collecting the second win of the season last week, thanks to a great defensive effort and to a perfect Luciano Orquera, who set a new record for RaboDirect PRO12 kicking nine penalties from nine attempts, the Aironi coaching staff have decided to line up the same XV with the only exception being the absence of the injured Fabio Ongaro. Roberto Santamaria will be the hooker in place of the experienced Italian international.

“(Treviso) will probably try to put pressure on the scrum, also to gain some penalties, and use the line-outs to build a drive,” says head coach Rowland Phillips.

“We also know they have some quality players who can make the difference. But our first goal remains always to grow up as a team, to increase our confidence and continue to develop our game”,

Meanwhile, Treviso have made a number of changes to their team. After last Friday's 27-13 defeat at the Stadio Zaffanella in Viadana, Franco Smith opts for huge changes in the first XV for this return leg.

In the backs, the only player keeping his place is Brendan Williams, while Ludovico Nitoglia and Tommaso Benvenuti are respectively winger and outside centre.

Alberto Sgarbi will be the inside centre, and Kristopher Burton and Tobias Botes are back, with their creative play, as fly-half and scrum-half.

Paul Derbyshire, gives way for to Gonzalo Padrò, who will be in the back row with Alessandro Zanni and Robert Barbieri.

The locks Corniel Van Zyl and Antonio Pavanello are confirmed again, while the front row has completely changed: the props Lorenzo Cittadini and Michele Rizzo will play with Franco Sbaraglini, who replaces injured Enrico Ceccato.

Form: Benetton Treviso's storming run in September/October has stuttered of late with just one RaboDirect PRO12 victory in their last five matches. Treviso have not won at Stadio Monigo in the tournament since Dragons were the visitors on 29 October. Aironi Rugby achieved a first ever win over their great local rivals on 23 December at Stadio Zaffanella in Viadana, and are now out to try and record a first season's double over any opponent and successive wins for the first time for the franchise.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Brendan Williams 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Gonzalo Padrò, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Franco Sbaraglini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Diego Vidal, 17 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Simon Picone, 22 Edoardo Gori, 23 Alberto Di Bernardo.

Aironi: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Gabriel Pizarro, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Josh Sole, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Nicola Cattina; 5 Marco Bortolami (cap), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys; 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Roberto Santamaria, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Luca Redolfini, 19 Filippo Ferrarini, 20 Mauro Bergamasco, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Naas Olivier, 23 Alberto Benettin. Coach: Rowland Phillips.

Date: Saturday 31 December
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Kick-off: 15.00 (14.00 GMT)
Referee: Stefano Penne