Preview: Treviso v Munster

17th Feb 2012, 14:10

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Ronan O'Gara: Back to call the shots for Munster

Ronan O'Gara: Back to call the shots for Munster

Munster go to Treviso in the RaboDirect PRO12 on Saturday with their trio of internationals back in the saddle fresh from Six Nations duty.

Munster head to Treviso on Saturday with their trio of internationals back in the saddle fresh from Six Nations duty.

The defending champions welcome back fly-half Ronan O'Gara, lock Donnacha Ryan and flanker Peter O'Mahony, all of whom immediately start.

There are also two new arrivals on the bench as Felix Jones features for the first time since suffering a foot injury in August while Tommy O'Donnell returns having last played in December.

Treviso pulled off an incredible shock last season when they beat the Munstermen in Italy and Franco Smith's men will be hoping to repeat the feat this weekend.

Smith has made a host of changes for the clash, perhaps most importantly in the half-backs where Willem De Waal and Fabio Semenzato come in at nine and ten respectively.

Elsewhere in the back-line, Tommaso Iannone replaces Benjamin De Jager on the wing.

It's all change in the pack, with an all-new second row in Corniel Van Zyl and Antonio Pavanello. Paul Derbyshire takes over the number six jersey from Gonzalo Padrò who drops to the bench. Up front, prop Pedro Di Santo and hooker Franco Sbaraglini join Matteo Muccignat in the front row.

Form: Benetton Treviso have slipped to four straight defeats in all competitions but at least did win their most recent home game in the RaboDirect PRO12: 37-14 over Aironi on New Year's Eve. Treviso's two victories over Irish provinces this season have both come away from home! Munster will hope for better luck on this trip to Italy than last week, when their clash at Aironi was postponed due to snow and frost in Viadana. Munster's solo defeat in their last seven matches in all competitions was 17-33 at Ulster on 30 December. The Munstermen have lost their last four away games in the RaboDirect PRO12 since their 18-13 victory at Cardiff Blues on 23 September. Treviso won this equivalent fixture last season - their only previous win over Munster.

The teams:

Benetton Treviso: 15 Ludovico Nitoglia, 14 Tommaso Iannone, 13 Ezio Galon, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Brendan Williams, 10 Willem De Waal, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Marco Filippucci, 7 Benjamin Vermaak, 6 Paul Derbyshire, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (captain), 3 Pedro Di Santo, 2 Franco Sbaraglini, 1 Matteo Muccignat.
Repalcements: 16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Augusto Allori, 18 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Gonzalo Padrò, 21 Gonzalo Garcia, 22 Edoardo Gori, 23 Alberto Di Bernardo.

Munster: 15 Denis Hurley, 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Lifeimi Mafi, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Peter O'Mahony, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Mick O'Driscoll (capt), 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Denis Fogarty, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 B Holland, 20 Tommy O'Donnell, 21 D Williams, 22 S Deasy, 23 Felix Jones.

Date: Saturday, February 18
Kick-off: 16:15 (15:15 GMT)
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Referee: Neil Hennessey