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Preview: Ospreys v Treviso

30th March 2012 13:24


Adam Jones ospreys heineken cup 2011

Adam Jones: Back from international duty

Ospreys legend Adam Jones will play his first match since signing a new deal when they host Treviso at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Jones returns to the starting XV from international duty along with Ryan Jones, Ian Evans, Alun Wyn Jones, and Paul James while Shane Williams is also back on the wing after missing the win against Leinster last weekend.

Ospreys forwards coach, Jonathan Humphreys is not underestimating their opponents who are in ninth position on the table.

"We were understandably very pleased with the win last weekend but the message all this week has been that it won't mean anything if we don't back it up in this match," he said.

"That performance probably set a benchmark for the rest of the season. We will need to hit those standards and show the same desire and endeavour in our remaining games if we are going to have any chance of achieving a home semi.

"At this time of the season every game is crucial and so much change up at the top end of the table after each round of fixtures.

"We won't worry about other games, we'll concentrate on what we can control, which is our performance levels and accuracy. If we get these right then we'll get our reward in terms of a play-off place," Humphreys added.

He paid tribute to tighthead prop Jones and urged supporters to give him a rousing reception.

"Fans will no doubt want to give a special welcome back to Adam for the first time since he signed his new contract," said Humphreys.

It's fantastic for the Ospreys that he wants to stay here, a real statement of intent at a time when people think it's all gloom and doom at the regions.

"He's been a tremendous servant to the region and will be looking forward to playing in front of his home fans again."

Meanwhile,Treviso coach Franco Smith has made minimum changes to his side after their narrow defeat to Ulster last weekend.

In the back row, injured number eight Robert Barbieri is replaced by Francesco Minto which means Marco Filippucci will start on the replacements bench.

Amongst the backs, Brendan Williams is being rested. His position at full-back is taken by Kristopher Burton.

This means that Alberto Di Bernardo will start at fly-half and Edoardo Gori at scrum-half.

Form: Ospreys terrific win at Leinster on Friday ended a two game losing run in the RaboDirect PRO12. The Welshmen lost their most recent home game 20-26 to Glasgow, but have not lost back to back matches at Liberty Stadium since September 2009. Benetton Treviso picked up a second successive losing bonus point at home to Ulster on Saturday, but have not won away from home since a trip to Connacht on 2 December. Treviso's record against Welsh regions this season in the RaboDirect PRO12 is won 2, lost 4. Treviso have never beaten Ospreys, although the two did draw 26-all in Treviso in the Heineken Cup on 19 November 2011.

The teams:

Ospreys 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 James King, 20 Tom Smith, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Tom Isaacs.

Treviso: 15 Kristopher Burton, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Ludovico Nitoglia, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 19 Valerio Bernaḅ, 20 Gonzalo Padṛ, 21 Marco Filippucci, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Luke McLean.

Date: Saturday, 31 March
Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Kick-off: 18:30 BST
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

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