Preview: Treviso v Cardiff Blues

Date published: February 12 2016

Treviso will have to do without ten of the squad who are with the Italian national side for their meeting with Cardiff Blues.

Fortunately back after a long period of absence due to injury are Luca Morisi, Angelo Esposito and Dean Budd.

The full-back will be Jayden Hayward, on the wings Ludovico Nitoglia and Tommaso Iannone. Luca Morisi and Alberto Sgarbi are in midfield. The half-backs are Alberto Lucchese at scrum-half and Sam Christie at fly-half.

The front row will consist of Alberto De Marchi, Luca Bigi and Simone Ferrari.

The lock are Filo Paulo and Tom Palmer. Finally, the back row sees Andrea De Marchi, Marco Lazzaroni, and Dean Budd completing the XV chosen by Marius Goosen.

Meanwhile, Welsh internationals Cory Allen and Kristian Dacey are released back from Six Nations duty and named in the starting line-up for Cardiff Blues.

Allen and Dacey both slot into the starting line-up as head coach Danny Wilson makes three changes to his team that defeated Edinburgh last time out for the big clash in Italy.

Wales U20 star Jarrod Evans is retained by the region for the game and selected at fly-half, with Rhys Patchell switching to full-back and Dan Fish moving to the wing.

Italian international number eight Manoa Vosawai is named in the back row and will face his former club. Prop Taufa'ao Filise, lock Lou Reed and centre Garyn Smith are all recalled to the replacements bench.

Head coach Danny Wilson said: "We've hit some good form in the PRO12 in recent weeks as we look to move up the table, but we're well aware of the challenge we will face in Italy against a Treviso team who will be fired-up to claim a victory.

"We only need to look at our away game at Zebre earlier this season to fully understand that our attitude, preparation and performance must be right if we want to come away with the right result.

"It's good to see Cory Allen and Kristian Dacey back in the set-up, after they were released by Wales, and we look forward to seeing them both put in big displays for us in Italy”

Form: Treviso are still searching for that elusive first win of the 2015/16 season. In fact their most recent victory was over Cardiff Blues in this equivalent fixture in the PRO12 last campaign played on 20 February 2015. Cardiff Blues have won their last four PRO12 fixtures since their 6-13 reversal at Ospreys in November. Blues have not won five in a row in the competitions since 2010. The Blues have already been defeated in Italy this season losing 15-26 at Zebre in Round 6. The last five meetings between the two sides have been evenly split with two wins apiece plus a draw, whilst the Blues are winless on their last three visits to Stadio Monigo.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi (c), 11 Tommaso Iannone, 10 Sam Christie, 9 Alberto Lucchese, 8 Dean Budd, 7 Marco Lazzaroni, 6 Andrea De Marchi, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Filo Paulo, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Alberto De Marchi
Replacements: 16 Federico Zani, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Filippo Filippetto, 19 Jeff Montauriol, 20 Marco Barbini, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Enrico Bacchin, 23 Angelo Esposito

Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Dan Fish, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Ellis Jenkins (c), 6 Josh Navidi, 5 James Down, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Thomas Davies
Replacements: 16 Ethan Lewis, 17 Bradley Thyer, 18 Taufa'ao Filise, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Macauley Cook, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Garyn Smith, 23 Aled Summerhill

Date: Saturday, February 13
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Kick-off: 13:30 local (12:30 GMT)
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Filippo Bertelli (Italy), Stefano Bolzonella (Italy)
TMO: Stefano Roscini (Italy)