Preview: Treviso v Dragons

Date published: February 18 2016

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Dragons skipper Thomas Rhys Thomas returns from injury to start against Treviso in their PRO12 clash at Stadio Monigo on Friday.

The 33-year-old is one of six changes that have been made to last weekend's team that lost out narrowly to Connacht at Rodney Parade.

There are two changes to the back-three as full-back Carl Meyer returns to full fitness and is joined by Hallam Amos, who has been released from Wales camp; they start alongside one of last weekend's try scorers, wing Ashton Hewitt.

The centre partnership remains unchanged as Adam Hughes and Adam Warren make their 17th appearance together this season. Fly-half Jason Tovey sits this game out after suffering a back injury against Connacht and young gun Angus O'Brien replaces him. Sarel Pretorius joins O'Brien in the half-backs.

Two changes are made to the front-row as prop Phil Price and hooker Elliot Dee sit this match out because of knocks sustained during the match against Connacht. They are replaced by Boris Stankovich and hooker Thomas, who join prop Brok Harris.

There is one change in the second-row as Cory Hill gets the nod alongside Rynard Landman. The back-row remains unchanged as flankers Ben White and Nic Cudd retain their places alongside number eight Nick Crosswell.

The replacements bench has four changes made to it as Hugh Gustafson, Matthew Screech, Lewis Evans and Geraint Rhys Jones join Rhys Buckley, Shaun Knight, Charlie Davies and Ross Wardle.

Meanwhile for Treviso, Matteo Zanusso has been made available after being released from Italy's squad to play in this match.

Unavailable for the match are Roberto Santamaria and Alberto De Marchi, who has a a back problem.

Jayden Hayward remains at full-back while on the wings Ludovico Nitoglia and Angelo Esposito start. Morisi and Alberto Sgarbi will be the centres.

The half-backs are Alberto Lucchese at scrum-half and Sam Christie at fly-half.

In the pack the front-row will consist of Cherif Traorè, Luca Bigi and Simone Ferrari, the locks are Filo Paulo and Tom Palmer while the back-row sees Andrea De Marchi, Marco Lazzaroni and Dean Budd start the home game.

Form: Benetton Treviso claimed their first win of the 2015/16 campaign in beating Cardiff Blues 13-7 at Stadio Monigo on Saturday. The Italians have scored exactly one try in each of their last six matches in all tournaments. Newport Gwent Dragons only victory in their last five Guinness PRO12 fixtures was 23-13 at home to Leinster in round 13. Dragons along with Treviso are the only two sides left in the competition who have failed to win away from home this season. Dragons only loss in their last six matches with Treviso was 27- 45 at Stadio Monigo in April 2014.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi (c), 11 Angelo Esposito, 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 Cherif Traorè
Replacements: 16 Filippo Filippetto, 17 Matteo Zanusso, 18 Manu Salesi, 19 Jeff Montauriol, 20 Marco Barbini, 21 Robert Barbieri, 22 Chris Smylie, 23 Tommaso Iannone

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Ashton Hewitt, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Angus O'Brien, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Nick Crosswell, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Ben White, 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Cory Hill, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Thomas Rhys Thomas (c), 1 Boris Stankovich
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Lewis Evans, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Geraint Rhys Jones, 23 Ross Wardle

Date: Friday, February 19
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Kick-off: 19:10 local (18:10 GMT)
Referee: Andy Brace (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Marius Liperini, Emanuele Tomo (both FIR)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (FIR)

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