Preview: Treviso v Edinburgh

04th Nov 2011, 19:29

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Mike Blair: Back for Edinburgh

Mike Blair: Back for Edinburgh

Scotland internationalists Mike Blair and Ross Rennie return to the Edinburgh line-up as two of six changes to the side that will face Treviso.

Scotland internationals Ross Rennie and Mike Blair return to Edinburgh's line-up as two of six changes to the side that will face Treviso.

Their inclusion completes the reintegration of the club's eight Rugby World Cup internationalists and sees Roddy Grant (back-row) and Greig Laidlaw (scrum-half) rotated to the bench for the first time this season, with Laidlaw's captaincy handed to hooker Ross Ford, who packs down with props Allan Jacobsen and Geoff Cross.

"This is another big game for us in the context of the RaboDirect PRO12 championship and the opportunity to reintroduce key players successfully ahead of a crucial 12-game phase of the 2011/12 season," said Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley.

"Edinburgh ability to score tries and to play an expansive and exciting game is well-documented but we must be as clinical in the execution of out defensive structures.

"Treviso are on a high a the moment after a series of good results, none more so than their recent 50-point win over the Dragons.

"A confident Italian side at home is a very tough prospect indeed but we have faith in our ability to put points on the board and, with a greater concentration and commitment to our defence, we can come home with a win this weekend."

Jim Thompson will start at full-back in place of the injured Chris Paterson (groin) while Lee Jones comes in for Simon Webster on the wing, the Borderer having missed last weekend's match with a groin strain.

The backs are completed by the retention of 19-year-old fly-off Harry Leonard, centres Matt Scott and Nick de Luca and record-breaking winger, Tim Visser, who looks to continue his try-scoring form from his familiar post on the wing.

The introduction of Grant Gilchrist and Netani Talei for Steven Turnbull (lock) and Stuart McInally (number eight) are the final two changes to the starting team, while Chris Leck earns a place on the bench having recovered from an ankle injury and Tom Brown takes Thompson's vacated place on the bench.

Meanwhile, Treviso coach Franco Smith has made three changes to his line-up.

Scrum-half Fabio Semenzato is replaced by Tobias Botes, one of the try-scorers against the Dragons.

After celebrating Brendan Williams's 200th game, Semenzato will be another player is likely to reach an important milestone in his career with is 100th cap waiting in the wings should be come off the bench.

Other changes in the backs sees double centurion Williams replaced by Luke McLean at wing. Up front, Franco Sbaraglini takes over from Enrico Ceccatois at hooker.

Form: Treviso's run of four consecutive RaboDirect PRO12 wins has seen them rise to 5th place in the table - their highest ever placing. Last Saturday's 50-24 bonus point win over Dragons saw them more than double their record for tries in a single game with seven. Edinburgh Rugby have slipped to successive RaboDirect PRO12 defeats and have won just once on their travels in any competition since December 2009: 10-9 at Aironi on 2 October 2010. Each side easily won its respective home game when the two sides met last season.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Ludovico Nitoglia, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Ezio Galon, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Luke McLean, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Marco Filippucci, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Franco Sbaraglini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Diego Vidal, 17 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Benjamin Vermaak, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Fabio Semenzato, 22 Willem De Waal, 23 Brendan Williams.

Edinburgh: 15 Jim Thompson, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick de Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Dave Denton, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Esteban Lozada, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford (c), 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Steven Lawrie, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Steven Turnbull, 20 Stuart McInally, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Greig Laidlaw, 23 Tom Brown.

Date: Saturday, 5th November
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Kick-off: 15:00 (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Macpherson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Alan Falzone (Italy), Stefano Marrama (Italy)