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Preview: Treviso v Scarlets

30th September 2011 11:56

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Benetton Treviso s Benjamin Vermaak v Glasgow

Benjamin Vermaak: At lock for Treviso

Treviso have made two changes to their side for Saturday's Pro12 clash with the Scarlets at Stadio Monigo.

There are happy memories for Franco Smith's team against the Welsh region: In September last year they beat Nigel Davies's XV, giving Treviso their first league win.

The Italian side also reached another important milestone last weekend: The first away win in the tournament last Friday against the Glasgow Warriors.

There are not many changes to Saturday's starting XV. The backs are unchanged, following the good performance at Firhill Stadium.

The biggest changes are in the front row, with Enrico Ceccato and Augusto Allori replacing Diego Vidal and Pedro Di Santo, the latter replaced also on the bench by debutant Carlo Fazzari, the prop who arrived from Padova this summer.

Meanwhile, Scarlets coach Nigel Davies has made six changes to his starting line-up with Aled Thomas being handed the number 10 jersey and Dan Newton switching to full-back.

Young winger Liam Williams gets another start and Richie Pugh joins the back row for injured Josh Turnbull.

"We were frustrated with last weekend mainly because of the performance, it was wet and the conditions were difficult but we need to play rugby and we've told the players to go out there and play and put some width on the game and start enjoying themselves," explained Davies.

"The conditions may have made us more conservative, but I don't want to see us shying away from playing our game, we need to start playing like we were at the end of last season.

"We know there is some inexperience with younger players behind the scrum but we've told them they must step up. They are learning and getting better.

"Our defence has stepped up a couple of levels since last year and our pack of forwards are building a mentality that our set piece is key and has to function.

"We've freshened things up a little with this selection and there are a couple of new combinations for this game," he added.

Davies said they knew from last season the challenge that Treviso present as a physical team that is improving its level of performance.

"They have a competent game and discipline will be key up front. The emphasis for us is to play our brand of rugby, they are a good team and competitive but we mustn't be afraid to play."

Form: Benetton Treviso opened their RaboDirect PRO12 winning account in fine style on Friday with a maiden tournament victory outside of Italy: 15-13 at Glasgow. Treviso have lost their last eight games against Welsh sides in all competitions. Scarlets have slipped to three successive defeats, but have not lost four in a row in the tournament since April 2010. Scarlets only away victory since January was 37-29 at Glasgow on 22 April. Scarlets only previous loss to any Italian side was in this equivalent fixture at Stadio Monigo in September 2010.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Ludovico Nitoglia, 14 Tommaso Iannone, 13 Ezio Galon, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Brendan Williams, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Marco Filippucci, 7 Francesco Minto, 6 Manoa Vosawai, 5 Benjamin Vermaak, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Augusto Allori, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Diego Vidal, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Carlo Fazzari, 19 Valerio Bernaḅ, 20 Gonzalo Padṛ, 21 Willem De Waal, 22 Simon Picone, 23 Alberto Di Bernardo.

Scarlets: 15 Dan Newton, 14 Lee Williams, 13 Nick Reynolds, 12 Gareth Maule, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Ruki Tipuna, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Richie Pugh, 6 Rob McCusker, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Emyr Phillips,1 Iestyn Thomas (c). Replacements: 16 Craig Hawkins, 17 Phil John, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Craig Price, 20 Johnathan Edwards, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Adam Warren, 23 Dale Ford.

Date: Saturday 1 October
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Kick-off: 15.00 local (14.00 BST / 13.00 GMT)
Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)

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