Planet Rugby

Preview: Dragons v Treviso

09th May 2014 13:27

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100th start: Jason Tovey

Dragons fly-half Jason Tovey makes his 100th start for the region as they welcome rivals Treviso to Rodney Parade on Saturday.

The 25-year-old made his first appearance for the men of Gwent in the 2008 Magners League, when the Dragons played against fellow Welsh region the Ospreys. Before this he spent two years in the Dragons academy before moving on to play for Newport RFC in 2006. The versatile back has also represented Wales at Under 20s level and has been called up into the senior Wales squad.

In 2012 Tovey left the Dragons and moved to the Cardiff Blues. He was with the rival region for one season before returning to his home club.

"On Saturday we really need to go out with a bang for the end of the season," said Tovey.

"We were pretty poor out there the first half, so we need to make sure that it doesn't happen at home for us. They have a really big pack and they use it to the best of their abilities. Our forwards are looking to front up against them and take control of the game for that crucial win."

Jason Tovey is joined in the starting XV by scrum-half Richie Rees who retains his place from the Scarlets game. The back five consists of the same centre partnership between Jack Dixon and Pat Leach and the back three remain the same international sweep as Will Harries, Tom Prydie retain their places as wings and Hallam Amos is at full-back.

The one change to the starting XV the faced the Scarlets has been made in the front-row as Duncan Bell replaces Bruce Douglas as tighthead prop. Bell is joined in the front row by fellow prop Phil Price and Welsh international hooker T. Rhys Thomas.

Dragons skipper Andrew Coombs partners Matthew Screech in the second row as the back row is made up of Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd and British and Irish lion Taulupe Faletau.

Dragons coaching staff have made three changes to the replacements bench and one positional change as Bruce Douglas, Rob Sidoli, Jevon Groves and Kris Burton all join, Sam Parry, Owen Evans, Jonathan Evans and Tyler Morgan.

Meanwhile, Alberti Di Bernardo wins a rare start at fly-half for Treviso, replacing Mat Berquist in the number ten jersey, and partnering the feisty Fabio Semenzato at half-back.

Luke McLean, heading for Sale Sharks next season, returns to full-back having played at inside centre in last week's home loss to Glasgow Warriors, with the dangerous Michele Campagnaro starting at outside centre alongside Alberto Sgarbi.

Christian Loamanu returns to the starting lineup as part of a formidable ball-carrying back-row at blindside, with Manoa Vosawai at number eight and Paul Derbyshire making up the triumvirate on the openside flank.

Form: Newport Gwent Dragons are without a win in their last seven PRO12 fixtures, since they beat Glasgow 24-23 at Rodney Parade on 23rd February.

Benetton Treviso need to finish the round having obtained more league points than Zebre to wrestle the Italian European qualification spot form their closest rivals.

Treviso have lost their last two matches, to Leinster and to Glasgow, whilst this is their last chance to win an away game this season.

Benetton's only victory in Wales since April 2012 came in round 22 last season at the Scarlets.

Dragons have won only one of their last five fixtures with Treviso: 23-14 at Rodney Parade in February 2013.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Will Harries, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Andrew Coombs (c), 3 Duncan Bell, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Phil Price
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Bruce Douglas, 19 Rob Sidoli, 20 Jevon Groves, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Kris Burton, 23 Tyler Morgan

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Paul Derbyshire, 6 Christian Loamanu, 5 Marco Fuser, 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 Valerio Bernaḅ, 20 Dean Budd, 21 Andrea Pratichetti, 22 James Ambrosini, 23 Mat Berquist

Date: Saturday 10th May
Venue: Rodney Parade
Kick-off: 1830 BST
Referee: John Lacey
Assistant referees: TBC

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