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Preview: Aironi v Scarlets

13th April 2012 13:06

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Jonathan Davies

Davies: Will captain the Scarlets

Wales centre Jon Davies will captain the Scarlets for the first time in Sunday's RaboDirect PRO12 clash against Aironi.

Dom Day comes back into the second row with Aaron Shingler who returns from a toe injury and in an unchanged back row Josh Turnbull is named as vice-captain.

Young Wales and Scarlets Prop Rhodri Jones moves from loosehead Prop last weekend to give him an opportunity at tighthead furthering his development and experience as a key front row player for the future.

With just three games left in the PRO12 league for the Scarlets before the play-offs, it's a must-win for the visitors on Italian soil.

The Scarlets sit in sixth place on 51 points, Ulster on 55 points in fifth, Glasgow in fourth on 56 points and Munster in third on 56 - there are just four points separate third to sixth placed teams with a number of the top six having to play each other in the final rounds.

"We know this is a must-win game for us out in Italy and the boys have been frustrated after their performance in Brive last weekend in the quarter-final," said Scarlets coach Nigel Davies.

"This is a time or them to get some momentum back and we know we are still in with a fighting chance with our league campaign."

Form: Aironi have won just one of their last six RaboDirect PRO12 games: 21-17 at home to Munster on 11 March. Aironi have won four home games in Viadana this season. Scarlets have won three of their last four games in the PRO12. The Welshmen's only away win in the tournament in 2012 was 26-14 at Cardiff Blues on 24 March. Scarlets only defeat to an Italian opponent since September 2010 was 10-20 in Treviso on 1 October 2011. Scarlets have won all three previous encounters with Aironi.

The teams:

Aironi: 15 Tito Tebaldi, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Gilberto Pavan, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Sinoti Sinoti; 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Josh Sole, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Nicola Cattina, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Lorenzo Romano, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Salvatore Perugini, 19 Joshua Furno, 20 Nick Williams, 21 Filippo Ferrarini, 22 Naas Olivier, 23 Giovanbattista Venditti.

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Nick Reynolds, 12 Jon Davies (c), 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Aaron Shingler, 3 Rhodri Jones,2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: Matthew Rees, Peter Edwards, Simon Gardiner, Mat Gilbert, Kieran Murphy, Stephen Jones, Viliame Iongi.

Date: Sunday, 15 April
Venue: Stadio Zaffanella
Kick-off: 15:05 (14:05 BST)
Referee: John Lcacey

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