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Preview: Treviso v Dragons

28th October 2011 11:56

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Brendan Williams in green Treviso shirt

200 up: Brendan Williams

The 2011/12 RaboDirect PRO12 term returns and the Lions of Benetton Treviso are back in action against the Dragons at Stadio Monigo on Saturday.

It will be a special day in many ways for the Italian side, not least because Brendan Williams claims his 200th cap for the Green and Whites.

The man affectionately known as 'Dingo', will be celebrated with a solo exit, accompanied by Chanel, his five-year-old daughter. There will also be a special shirt to commemorate the day, and as usual a new pair of boots for the occasion.

Many international players return after Italian duty at the World Cup in New Zealand.

Alberto Sgarbi and Lorenzo Cittadini have already played against Ulster, but there are some new faces to be added, like lock Corniel Van Zyl and flanker Alessandro Zanni.

In the backs, Fabio Semenzato takes back his position as scrum-half, while Tommaso Benvenuti will play on the wing.

Robert Barbieri, Paul Derbyshire and Luke McLean will sit on the bench ready to go in.

In the pack, Michele Rizzo and Enrico Ceccato are in the front-row, with captain Antonio Pavanello as lock and Marco Filippucci and Francesco Minto in the back-row.

Kristopher Burton remains in the control room after his strong start to the season and the starting line-up is completed by Ezio Galon as outside centre and Ludovico Nitoglia at full-back.

Tobias Botes is on the bench, and also Pedro Di Santo will be back in action, after suffering groin problems that have kept him off the field in for the games against Scarlets and Ulster.

Meanwhile, the Dragons have made a late change to their squad travelling out to Italy.

Scrum-half Wayne Evans has been ruled out with illness and as Joe Bedford steps up to start, James Leadbeater comes into the side as a replacement.

Form: Benetton Treviso have won three successive RaboDirect PRO12 matches against Glasgow, Scarlets and Ulster, but are still seeking a first ever try bonus point in the competition. All six of Newport Gwent Dragons' encounters in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season have been won by the home side on the day. Dragons have not won away from home in the competition since their last visit to Italy, where they beat Aironi 18-3 at the Stadio Zaffanella on 20 February. Last season's meetings between the teams were shared one win apiece, whilst the Dragons have won on three of their four previous visits to Italy in all competitions.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Ludovico Nitoglia, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Ezio Galon, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Brendan Williams, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Marco Filippucci, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (capt), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Diego Vidal, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Valerio Bernaḅ, 20 Robert Barbieri, 21 Paul Derbyshire, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 Luke McLean.

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Mike Poole, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Joe Bedford, 8 Lewis Evans, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Andrew Coombs, 5 Scott Morgan, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Tom Willis (capt), 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Nathan Williams, 18 Dan Way, 19 Jevon Groves, 20 Tom Brown, 21 James Leadbeater, 22 Lewis Robling, 23 Jason Tovey.

Date: Saturday, October 29
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

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