Edinburgh welcome the return of three Scotland internationals into their starting XV for Saturday's trip to Treviso.
Edinburgh welcome the return of three Scotland internationals into their starting XV for Saturday's clash with Treviso at Stadio Monigo.
David Denton (back-row), Matt Scott (centre) and Alasdair Dickinson (prop) – the latter withdrawn before last weekend's loss against Ulster – are all set to start the match in Italy, as three of four personnel changes to the side.
The trio replace the injured Mike Coman (neck strain), Sam Beard and Wicus Blaauw respectively while the season-ending hand injury to wing Dougie Fife brings about a back division shuffle.
Jack Cuthbert moves to the wing to replace Fife, allowing Carl Bezuidenhout to move to full-back to accommodate Harry Leonard, who starts at fly-half.
Head coach Alan Solomons, said: “After a week's break following a rigorous Six Nations, the players have come back fresh and full of vigour, and are really looking forward to the game.
“It's great to have them back, they are excellent players, and I expect them to make a big contribution on Saturday.
“Matt [Scott] has played 13 before. He's an explosive and powerful player and has all the attributes to do well there.
“I feel that he and Andries [Strauss], who captains the side in place of Mike Coman, will form a really effective patnership.”
Edinburgh have picked up losing bonus points in their last two away outings, against Connacht and Scarlets, with Solomons acknowledging that it's time to take another step in the incremental improvement evidenced by the side this season.
“When a side is evolving and developing like ours, you find your form at home, with all the advantages that it brings,” he added.
“That's where you tend get your results early on.
“As we are improving, our form on the road has been better, but I do feel that if we have a good performance we are capable of getting a result.
“I would like to see us take that next step and do that on the road.”
Meanwhile, Treviso skipper Antonio Pavanello will rack up his 200th appearance in the second-row, partnered by Corniel van Zyl.
It's a powerful home back-row to line up against Denton, Cornell du Preez and co with Manoa Vosawai named on the blindside flank and Robert Barbieri at number eight.
Exciting Italian internationals Michele Campagnaro and Angelo Esposito announced their presence on the Test scene during the Six Nations; both line up to take on the Scots on Saturday in their familiar outside centre and wing positions respectively.
Experienced full-back Luke McLean starts, with the half-back combination of Tobias Botes and James Ambrosini given a shot.
Form: Treviso have lost their last eight matches in all tournaments and have not scored a try in the PRO12 for 266 minutes, since Leonardo Sarto crossed against Ospreys on 16 February – this is still a long way short of the league record though, which Llanelli RFC hold at 350 minutes. Edinburgh's only victory in their last five matches in all tournaments came against Ospreys at Meggetland on 28 February. The Scotsmen have picked up just two league points away from home this season, both losing bonus points, in their last two matches at Connacht and at Scarlets. Edinburgh have won three of their last four matches against Italian opposition. The two sides have met on seven previous occasions with the Scotsmen having the slight edge by four wins to three.
Treviso: 15 Luke McLean,14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 James Ambrosini, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Marco Filippucci, 6 Manoa Vosawai, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto De Marchi
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Valerio BernabÃ², 21 Christian Loamanu, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Alberto Di Bernardo.
Edinburgh: 15 Carl Bezuidenhout, 14 Jack Cuthbert, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Andries Strauss (c), 11 Tom Brown, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 David Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Cornell Du Preez, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Ewan McQuillin, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Sam Beard, 23 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.
Date: Saturday 29 March
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Kick-off: 19:00 local, 18:00 GMT
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Stefano Penne, Stefano Traversi (both Italy)
TMO: Alan Falzone (Italy)
Citing commissioner: Stefano Marrama (Italy)