Preview: Ulster v Treviso

01st Mar 2013, 18:49

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Fly-half: Paddy Jackson

Fly-half: Paddy Jackson

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has made seven changes for Friday's RaboDirect PRO12 game against Treviso at Ravenhill.


Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has made seven changes for Friday's RaboDirect PRO12 game against Treviso at Ravenhill.

Paddy Jackson and Darren Cave are named in the backline, while Rob Herring, Declan Fitzpatrick, Lewis Stevenson and Mike McComish return to the pack.

Anscombe has also made three positional changes, the most notable of which sees captain John Afoa switch from tighthead to loosehead prop. It will be the first time that Afoa has started for Ulster at loosehead.

Andrew Trimble moves from outside centre to his more familiar position on the right wing, while Michael Allen switches flanks and will start at number 11.

Nigel Brady, Callum Black, Neil McComb and Ali Birch drop to the bench alongside Ricky Lutton, Paul Marshall, Niall O'Connor and Chris Cochrane.

"It is good to give the guys who are on the periphery of the international team some game time. We welcome them back and with the experience that they bring, they will only strengthen our side," said Ulster coach Mark Anscombe.

Meanwhile, Franco Smith has picked the same backline last Sunday against Munster, with the exception of Andrea Pratichetti, who is replaced by Luca Morisi.

Brendan Williams will play his 229th game for Treviso, just two less than Gianni Zanon, who is seventh in the all-time table.

As for the pack, Franco Smith again has selected some players released by Italy, with Robert Barbieri and Dean Budd as flankers.

Captain Corniel Van Zyl and Valerio Bernabò are confirmed at lock, with tomorrow's match being Bernabò's 50th appearance for Treviso.

In the front row, hooker Franco Sbaraglini starts with props Alberto De Marchi and Lorenzo Cittadini.

Ulster: 15 Ricky Andrew, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Michael Allen, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Robbie Diack, 7 Mike McComish, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Lewis Stevenson, 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Rob Herring, 1 John Afoa.
Replacements: 16 Neil Brady, 17 Calum Black, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Ali Birch, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Niall O'Connor, 23 Chris Cochrane.

Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Andrea Pratichetti, 12 Gideon La Grange, 11 Giulio Toniolatti, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Christian Loamanu, 7 Filippo Giusti, 6 Dean Budd, 5 Corniel Van Zyl (c), 4 Valerio Bernabò, 3 Jacobus Roux, 2 Giovanni Maistri, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Marco Filippucci, 21 James Ambrosini, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Tommaso Iannone.

Date: Friday, February 29
Kick-off: 19:05
Venue: Ravenhill
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Paul Haycock (Ireland), David Keane (Ireland)
Television match official: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)