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Preview: Treviso v Cardiff Blues

29th November 2013 12:32

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Wales Under 18s winger Owen Jenkins

Wales U21s: Owen Jenkins

Owen Jenkins and Ellis Jenkins are both handed first-ever Pro12 starts as Cardiff Blues tackle Treviso at Stadio Monigo on Saturday.

Wales Sevens and Wales U21s winger Owen Jenkins is set to make this first appearance for Blues while Wales U20s captain Ellis Jenkins is called up at openside flanker.

Director of Rugby Phil Davies makes a total of six changes to the side that was defeated by Munster.

Hooker Rhys Williams makes his first start of the season and Filo Paulo returns in the second row after international duty with Samoa. Macauley Cook moves into the back row.

Fly half Gareth Davies returns to the starting line-up and Dan Fish is fit again to take his place at full back.

Prop Scott Andrews misses the game through injury and scrum half Lloyd Williams with illness after returning from Wales duty.

Blues' record in Italy in all tournaments is an impressive won eight and lost one and Davies is looking for his side to respond after the disappointment of home defeat to Munster.

"We played some good rugby in the first 20 minutes against Munster, then we switched off at end of the half and they were very clinical," said Davies.

"With the quality of players they had they took the chances. There are periods of time in each game where we seem to switch off and the opposition capitalise. We only missed 8 tackles in the game, which is lowest this season, but four cost us points."

Meanwhile, Treviso have named a new centre pairing with Christian Loamanu and Michele Campagnaro partnering each other in midfield.

Mat Berquist wears the number ten jersey alongside Edoardo Gori, with Tobias Botes on the bench.

In the back row, openside flanker Dean Budd is called up to join the formidable duo of Manoa Vosawai and Alessandro Zanni.

Form: Treviso have slipped to three narrow defeats in the last three rounds of the Pro12 but at least earned themselves a losing bonus point on each occasion.

Treviso's 20-21 defeat to Leinster on Sunday was only their second home defeat in the tournament since November 2012, whilst they have secured at least one league point form each of their last 11 games at Stadio Monigo.

Cardiff Blues have not won away from home in the Pro12 since a visit to Edinburgh on 15th February., whilst the Blues record in Italy in all tournaments is an impressive won eight, lost one.

Treviso's only previous victory over Cardiff Blues came in this equivalent fixture last season, a game played on 23rd March.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Christian Loamanu, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 Mat Berquist, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Dean Budd, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Mark Fuser, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (c), 1 Alberto De Marchi
Replacements: 16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 19 Robert Barbieri, 20 Marco Filippucci, 21 Alberto Sgarbi, 22 Edoardo Gori, 23 James Ambrosini

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Owen Jenkins, 13 Richard Smith, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Chris Czekaj, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 James Down, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Sam Hobbs (c)
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 Rory Watts-Jones, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Thomas Young, 22 Tomos Williams, 23 Simon Humberstone

Date: Saturday 30th November
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Kick-off: 1700 local, 1600 GMT
Referee: Leo Colgan (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Claudio Blessano, Simone Boaretto
TMO: Mauro Dordolo

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