Preview: Treviso v Cardiff Blues

Date published: February 19 2015

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Gareth Anscombe will start at fly-half for Cardiff Blues as they seek only their second win in the Pro12 in 2015.

Last time out they pushed Munster all the way before eventually succumbing, but they will fancy their chances against a Treviso side that has only beaten Zebre in the Pro12.

With Anscombe at ten, Rhys Patchell moves back to full-back, with the Blues Puma contingent, Lucas Amorosino and Joaquin Tuculet on the wings.

Up front Adam Jones will take his place at tighthead, while in-form Josh Navidi shifts to number eight, with Ellis Jenkins coming into the starting lineup.

Meanwhile Treviso will look to bounce back from last week's thumping at Ulster and can count on a number of Italian internationals in their side.

Azzurri second row Antonio Pavanello captains the side, alongside Marco Fuser, who came off the bench in the defeat to Ireland.

Jayden Hayward, Angelo Esposito and Simone Ragusi form an exciting back three, while Alberto Lucchese and James Ambrosini link up at half-back.

Finally Mat Luamanu and Dean Budd join new Italian cap Marco Barbini in the back row.

Form: Benetton Treviso won just one of their last four matches in all tournaments: 23-20 at home to Ospreys in the Champions Cup on January 24. Treviso have won two of their last three home games in all tournaments whilst the Italian outfit have not beaten a Welsh region in the Pro12 since Dragons visited Stadio Monigo last April. Cardiff Blues' only win in their last four Pro12 matches was 11-9 at Newport Gwent Dragons on New Year's Day. The Blues have lost only one of their last seven encounters with Italian opponents in all tournaments: 10-15 at Zebre in the Pro12 last March. Treviso's only previous victory over Cardiff Blues in the nine past encounters was 26-17 at Stadio Monigo in the Pro12 on 23rd March 2013.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Enrico Bacchin, 12 Sam Christie, 11 Simone Ragusi, 10 James Ambrosini, 9 Alberto Lucchese, 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Dean Budd, 6 Marco Barbini, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Matteo Zanusso
Replacements: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Romulo Acosta, 18 Salesi Manu, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Meyer Swanepoel, 21 Andrea Pratichetti, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Henry Seniloli

Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Adam Thomas, 11 Joaquin Tuculet, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Macauley Cook, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Tau Filise

Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Miles Normandale, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Owen Jenkins

Date: Friday, February 20
Venue: Stadio Monigo, Treviso
Kick-off: 20:05 local (19:05 GMT)
Referee: Gary Conway (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Marius Mitrea (Italy), Gregorio Piran (Italy)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (Italy)

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