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Preview: Treviso v Ospreys

18th November 2011 10:55

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corniel van zyl treviso v saracens HC 2011

At lock: Cornelius van Zyl

Treviso will be delighted to be back at Stadio Comunale di Monigo when they face the Ospreys in a banana skin of a Heineken Cup fixture on Saturday.

Ospreys flanker Justin Tipuric will undergo a late fitness test on the ankle injury that forced him off at half-time against Biarritz last weekend.

Jonathan Thomas will also undergo a fitness test on a thigh problem picked up in training this week and Matthew Morgan will make his Heineken Cup debut if he comes off the bench.

Chauncey O'Toole will make his first Ospreys start and his Heineken Cup debut if Tipuric fails his fitness test.

Tipuric will captain the team if fit. If not, Shane Williams will take over the reins.

Ospreys' Director of Coaching Scott Johnson expects a tough assignment away from home.

"It's going to be a tough outing, it really is," he said.

"The days of just rolling up in Italy and expecting five points are long gone. Leicester found that out in Aironi last weekend, the Dragons recently had a 50 pointer against Treviso, and we were extremely fortunate to get a win out there earlier in the season.

"We got off to a winning start against Biarritz, and a result against them is never to be underestimated.

"But, that hard work will be wasted if we aren't able to back it up on Saturday.

"The guys have worked hard, they know what they've got to do and they know the areas that we have to improve in from last week.

"In any game, the first challenge is to do the basics right, be clinical, be accurate, and know your roles. If we get those aspects rights, then the performance will follow.

"We're going into the game with our eyes wide open, we know what we need to do, which is to make sure we are still well and truly alive by the time the Saracens double header comes around next month," added Johnson.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Ludovico Nitoglia, 14 Benjamin de Jager, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Brendan Williams, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Benjamin Vermaak, 5 Cornelius van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 18 Pedro di Santo, 19 Valerio Bernabo, 20 Gonzalo Padrņ, 21 Manoa Vosawai, 22 Willem de Waal, 23 Fabio Semenzato.

Ospreys (revised): 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotualii, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Justin Tipuric (c), 6 George Stowers, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Ryan Jones, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Mefin Davies, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Ian Gough, 20 Joe Bearman, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan , 23 Tom Isaacs.

Date: Saturday, November 19
Kick-off: 14:30 (13:30 GMT)
Venue: Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)

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Pool 5
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PosTeamPPts
1Racing Metro Paris28
2Northampton25
3Ospreys25
4Treviso20