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Preview: Edinburgh v Treviso

24th October 2013 12:32

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David Denton Edinburgh HEC 2013

David Denton: At eight for Edinburgh

Edinburgh welcome four capped internationalists into their starting XV for Friday's clash with Treviso at Murrayfield.

Number eight David Denton (arm), centre Matt Scott (thigh) and back-row Dimitri Basilaia (groin) are clear of the ailments that ruled them out of last weekend's loss to Perpignan, while full-back Greig Tonks - who returned from a hamstring injury with an appearance from the bench in that clash - starts his first match in a month.

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons, said: "The team acquitted itself well against Perpignan, particularly in the first 40 minutes, but clearly we missed players of the stature of Matt [Scott] and Dave [Denton], both of whom have been regular starters for the Scotland national team.

"Dimitri [Basilaia] has played very well for us this season, so it's also good to have him back. He brings a good level of physicality to our play though, that being said, the loose forwards did really well at the weekend.

"Similarly Greig [Tonks] is coming back from injury. He had 20 minutes at the weekend so he is good to go, though Jack [Cuthbert] also performed well in his absence.

"Their return means that we are close to full strength for this game. It's been a pity that we haven't been able to field such a side consistently, but it's good to have all four of these guys back at the same time."

Edinburgh have won three of their last four games at Murrayfield in all tournaments, however they have won just once in the last three outings against the Italians, including a 22-27 defeat in the capital last season.

Solomons added: "This will be a very tough game. Treviso have the bulk of the national players of the Italian side, which has given a very good account of itself of late.

"They have had the same coach for seven years, so are a very settled and well structured side, with quality personnel.

"I thought we played really well against Munster and had a good 40 minute spell against Perpignan, with more signs of improvement from the squad. Now we must bring that to bear in the PRO12."

Meanwhile Treviso head coach Franco Smith has reshuffled his starting XV after last weekend's loss to Leicester at Welford Road.

The front row of hooker Enrico Ceccato and props Lorenzo Cittadini and Michele Rizzo have been retained but in the second row Marco Fuser replaces Valerio Bernabo will form a combination with captain Antonio Pavanello.

In the back row Manoa Vosawai moves from the flank to number eight while Dean Budd comes into the side on the side of the scrum alongside Alessandro Zanni.

Amongst the backs, Fabio Semenzato and James Ambrosini form the the half-back combination and the centre partnership will once again be Alberto Sgarbi and Luca Morisi.

The back three will consist of the Ludovico Nitoglia and Christian Loamanu on the wings and Brendan Williams at full-back.

Form: Edinburgh's only victory in their last five fixtures in all competitions came at home to Munster in the European Cup on 12 October. Although they have won three of their last four games at Murrayfield in all tournaments, they have not been victorious in the RaboDirect PRO12 since beating the Dragons in Round Two. Edinburgh have lost tow of the last three games they have played against Italian opponents. Treviso's last four games in the PRO12 have been won by the home side on the day. Treviso's only home victory in their last ten fixtures in all tournaments was 41-17 at Scarlets on 3 May. Treviso won both encounters with Edinburgh last season including a 27-22 victory when they visited Murrayfield in Round Six last year.

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 David Denton, 7 Cornell Du Preez, 6 Dimitri Basilaia, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Izak van der Westhuizen, 20 Roddy Grant, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Joaquin Dominguez, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Christian Loamanu, 10 James Ambrosini, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Dean Budd, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Valerio Bernab˛, 20 Robert Barbieri, 21 Marco Filippucci, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 Luke McLean.

Date: Friday, October 25
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 19:45
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Peter Allan, Stephen Hart (both Scotland)
Citing Commissioner: Douglas Hunter (Scotland)

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