Preview: Treviso v Montpellier

11th Oct 2013, 13:37

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At nine: Benoit Paillaugue

At nine: Benoit Paillaugue

Heineken Cup dark horses Montpellier kick-off their Pool campaign at Treviso on Saturday in what is a tricky opening fixture in Italy.

Competition dark horses Montpellier kick-off their Pool campaign at Treviso on Saturday in what is a tricky opening fixture at Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

There are two notable absentees from their starting XV as flank Fulgence Ouedraogo and scrum-half Jonathan Pelissie are on the bench.

Alexandre Bias leads the side while Benoit Paillaugue is the man paired with star Francois Trinh-Duc for the game against the PRO12 side.

Meanwhile, Treviso will be hoping to spring another surprise against a more established team when they take on the French side at home.

After beating Munster at Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso will be confident they can do the same to Montpol, with a strong side set to run out.

Tobias Botes and Luke McLean are at half-back while a back-row of Robert Barbieri, Alessandro Zanni and Simone Favaro will cause damage behind Marco Fuser and Antonio Pavanello.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Michele Campagnaro, 10 Luke McLean, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Simone Favaro, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Antonio Pavanello (capt), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 18 Pedro di Santo, 19 Valerio Bernabo, 20 Dean Budd, 21 Christian Loamanu, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 James Ambrosini.

Montpellier: 15 Anthony Floch, 14 Anthony Tuitavke, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Yoan Audrin, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Kelian Galletier, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Alexandre Bias (capt), 5 Robins Tchale Watchou, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Na'ama Leleimalefaga.
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Maximiliano Bustos, 19 Thibaut Privat, 20 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 21 Jonathan Pelissie, 22 Enzo Selponi, 23 Yohann Artru.

Date: Saturday, October 12
Kick-off: 14:35 local (13:35 BST)
Venue: Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Kieran Barry (Ireland), Eanna O'Dowd (Ireland)
Television match official: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)
Timekeeper: Brian Abrahams (England)