Preview: Scarlets v Treviso

25th Mar 2011, 13:21

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Jonathan Davies: At twelve

Jonathan Davies: At twelve

The Scarlets will welcome back a host of their international players for Sunday's crucial clash with Treviso at Parc y Scarlets.

The Scarlets will welcome back a host of their international players for Sunday's crucial clash with Treviso at Parc y Scarlets.

And the region will field a special line-up for their special Ladies Day fixture at Parc y Scarlets with their starting XV all born and bred in Wales with number eight Ben Morgan soon to be a Welsh-qualified player.
Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones, a former Aberystwyth University student will be one of the special guests at this fixture for his first visit to the impressive Parc y Scarlets. And in tribute to the growing number of female Scarlets supporters, the players will abandoning their traditional red Scarlets socks for pink and white hooped socks - which will be auctioned to supporters at a later date in aid of the Ray Gravell and Friends Charitable Trust.
Head Coach Nigel Davies said his returning international players had given a real boost to training and were eager to get back on the field in the Scarlets shirt for Sunday's home game.

"What's good is the hunger they obviously have at this stage of the season to be back with us, and we're able to field one of the strongest and most exciting backlines we've probably had all season this weekend," said Davies.

"It should be a great night for our supporters, and if the weather stays as it is, a good night to suit our style of rugby."
Davies has opted for a balance of some of the region's top international performers with a core of strong players who have shone and held the fort during the Six Nations in the last batch of Scarlets games.
These include young Carmarthenshire scrum-half talent Gareth Davies (21) and in-form centre Gareth Maule who get their places in the starting line-up after putting in strong performances in recent games.

"Our opponents Treviso are a competent team and we have a point to prove here after getting beaten by them first game out in the league back in September; they bring a dominant set-piece and they have plenty of quality within their ranks as they've shown this season and it's only a matter of time before they gel more and become increasingly competitive in seasons to come," added Davies.
"Our next two games will have a huge bearing on our goal to reach the play-offs. It's a big task ahead of us and we know we will have to perform at the top of our game in these next five fixtures. We travel to Ulster next week which will be a massive game for us in our ambitions. We'll then host league leaders Munster on the 14th of April."

Meanwhile, Treviso welcome back Six Nations internationals Kristopher Burton, Fabio Semenzato, Alessandro Zanni, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Paul Derbyshire and Luke McLean.

Form: Scarlets' only victory in their last eight matches in all competitions was 11-3 at home to Edinburgh on 24 February. The Welshmen have won their last four games against Italian opponents this season. Benetton Treviso have slipped to four straight defeats in the Magners League since their 19-18 victory over tabletopping Munster on 13 February. Treviso's most recent victory in Wales was 24-22 at Newport Gwent Dragons in the European Cup on 15 February 2007. The two teams have already met on three occasions this season with Treviso victorious in the Magners League, but the Scarlets gaining revenge by taking both European Cup encounters.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Rhys Priestland, 14 George North, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Jon Davies, 11 Morgan Stoddart, 10 Stephen Jones (c), 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ben Morgan. 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Rob McCusker, 5 Aaron Shingler, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Rhys Lawrence, 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements:16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Peter Edwards, 19 Damian Welch, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Regan King, 23 Scott Williams.

Treviso:15 Joseph Maddock, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Andrea Pratichetti, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Michele Sepe, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Benjamin Vermaak, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Valerio Bernabò, 3 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (c) 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements:16 Diego Vidal, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Gonzalo Padrò, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Simon Picone, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 Luke McLean

Date: Sunday, March 27
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Kick-off: 17.35 BST (16.35 GMT)
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)