Preview: Treviso v Scarlets

Date published: February 7 2014

Key Scarlets internationals have returned to bolster the pack ahead of the tough away challenge against Treviso this weekend.

Key Scarlets internationals have returned to bolster the pack ahead of the tough away challenge against Treviso this weekend.

The Scarlets are currently in seventh position in the RaboDirect Pro12 table, 14 points off fourth placed Ulster but still have plenty of rugby yet to play on their quest to reach the top four.

“We've spoken as a team about how we've put ourselves in this position however I'm confident that we can go on and get the necessary results,” said Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby.

“There are ten games left in this campaign and the next four games are crucial as to whether we can play beyond those ten or not. That's the challenge ahead of us and it's most certainly not outside of our capabilities.”

Jordan Williams retains his place at fullback from the starting XV that took on London Irish in the LV= Cup last weekend with Kristian Phillips and Gareth Maule returning from injury to bolster the backline.

Adam Warren replaces Gareth Owen at inside centre with Aled Thomas coming in to take the reins at outside half.

Phil John, Kirby Myhill and Jacobie Adriaanse pack down in an all change front row with George Earle and Richard Kelly at second row.

Josh Turnbull and John Barclay join captain Rob McCusker in the back-row adding experience to the Scarlets side.

Emyr Phillips and Samson Lee have returned from Wales camp and take their place on the replacements bench.

Meanwhile, Treviso return to action after a three-week break and coach Marius Goosen has rung the changes since their Heineken Cup loss to Montpellier.

In the back-line, there are five changes with Mat Berquist coming in at full-back for Luke McLean and there's also a change in midfield as Andrea Pratichetti shifts from inside to outside centre with Alberto Sgarbi wearing the number 12 jersey.

Brendan Williams replaces Angelo Esposito on the left wing while Alberto Di Bernardo and Fabio Semenzato take over from James Ambrosini and Tobias Botes as the halfbacks.

Up front, there are two further changes. Corniel Van Zyl is Marco Fuser's replacement at lock while Matteo Muccignat comes in for Alberto de Marchi at loosehead prop.

Form: Treviso's 12-14 defeat at Zebre in round 12 was their first reversal in the PRO12 since November. The Italians have been defeated just once at Stadio Monigo in the tournament since round one: 20-21 to Leinster on 24 November. Treviso have met Welsh Regions four times this season and have yet to register a victory. Scarlets have lost their last four PRO12 matches but have not lost five in a row in the tournament since 2008. The Welshmen's two away victories in the PRO12 this season came at Edinburgh in Round 4 and at Connacht in Round 8. The two sides have met on seven previous occasions in the PRO12 with Treviso having the slight edge by four wins to three, Scarlets only previous victory in Treviso came in the Heineken Cup in December 2010.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Mat Berquist, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Andrea Pratichetti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Brendan Williams, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Marco Filippucci, 7 Paul Derbyshire, 6 Christian Loamanu, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Valerio Bernabò (c), 3 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 2 Franco Sbaraglini, 1 Matteo Muccignat.
Replacements: 16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Giovanni Maistri, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Meyer Swanepoel, 20 Robert Barbieri, 21 Jacopo Sarto, 22 James Ambrosini, 23 Enrico Bacchin.

Scarlets: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Rob McCusker (c), 7 John Barclay, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Richard Kelly, 4 George Earle, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Kirby Myhill, 1 Phil John
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Johan Snyman, 20 Lewis Rawlins, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Josh Lewis, 23 Gareth Owen

Date: Saturday, February 8
Kickoff: 14:00 (local), 13:00 (GMT)
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Referee: Lloyd Linton (Wales)
Assistant referees: Claudio Blessano (Italy), Stefano Traversi (Italy)
Television match official: Alan Falzone (Italy)
Citing Commissioner: Stefano Marrama (Italy)