Preview: Treviso v Ulster

Date published: September 9 2016

Treviso will host Ulster in their PRO12 clash at Stadio Monigo on Saturday without their captain Alessandro Zanni.

Zanni is unavailable due to a knee injury sustained in the opening minutes of last week's match against Leinster. He has been replaced in the starting line-up by Marco Barbini.

Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss has made six changes to the side that took the field in the opening round victory over Newport Gwent Dragons last Friday.
Rob Lyttle has been rewarded for an eye-catching substitute appearance against the Dragons – when the 19-year-old grabbed a brace of tries – with a starting place on the right wing. Summer signing Kieran Treadwell will make his first competitive start for the province when he will partner Franco van der Merwe in the second row.
Rob Herring will again captain the side from hooker and he will be joined in the front row by the recalled Kyle McCall and Rodney Ah You, the latter having completed the return to play guidelines following a delayed onset concussion in the final pre-season outing against Northampton.
The back row trio of Clive Ross, Sean Reidy and Roger Wilson, which performed so effectively last week, have all been retained, while Man of the Match last weekend, Ruan Pienaar, will once again line up alongside Brett Herron at scrum-half.
Stuart Olding, making his 50th appearance for the club, will shift from outside to inside centre and will be joined in midfield by fellow Irish international Luke Marshall, while Lyttle is included in the back three with fellow try-scorer from last week, Jacob Stockdale, and the returning Louis Ludik.
On the bench, John Andrew, Andy Warwick, Ross Kane, Pete Browne and Robbie Diack will cover the forward positions, while Stuart McCloskey, Darren Cave and Angus Lloyd, who is also in line for a competitive debut, are included as backline options.

Form: Treviso have been victorious just once in the Guinness PRO12 since February: 22-21 at home to Connacht on 29 April. Ulster remain as the only Irish province that Treviso have not beaten at home in the history of the PRO12. Ulster have lost just one of their last six Guinness PRO12 encounters: 18-30 to Leinster in last season’s semi-final. Ulster beat Dragons 29-8 in round 1 and have not won both of their opening two fixtures in the Championship since 2012/13. Ulster’s only loss to Treviso in any tournament was 12-23 in Belfast in the PRO12 in October 2011, although the two sides did share a 29-all draw at the same venue in March 2013.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Luke McLean (C), 11 Andrea Buondonno, 10 Thomas Allan, 9 Giorgio Bronzini, 8 Marco Barbini, 7 Marco Lazzaroni, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Nicola Quaglio
Replacements: 16 Roberta Santamaria, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Titian Pasquali, 19 Filippo Gerosa, 20 Dean Budd, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 David Odiete

Ulster: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Rob Lyttle, 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Brett Herron, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Sean Reidy, 6 Clive Ross, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Kieran Treadwell, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Kyle McCall
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Andy Warwick, 18 Ross Kane, 19 Pete Browne, 20 Robbie Diack, Angus Lloyd, Stuart McCloskey, Darren Cave

Date: Saturday, September 10
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Kick-off: 20:05 local (18:05 GMT)
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Sam Grove-White (Scotland), Simone Boaretto (Italy)
TMO: Charles Samson (Scotland)