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Preview: Cardiff Blues v Treviso

21st September 2012 09:58

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phil davies cardiff blues coach

Fresh legs: Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues have named Lou Reed, Robin Copeland, Benoit Bourrust and Andi Kyriacou in their pack for their home clash with Treviso on Saturday.

In the backline, Dan Fish comes in at full-back, Jamie Roberts starts for the first time at inside centre and Tom James starts on the wing.

The Blues have started the RaboDirect PRO12 with all three of their fixtures, so far this season, being won by the away side on the day.

The Blues won 16-5 at the Dragons on Friday but have not managed back-to-back victories in the tournament since last February. However, they have a perfect played 13, won 13 record in previous encounters with Italian opponents.

"It's great to be back at the Arms Park for our second home RaboDirect PRO12 fixture," said boss Phil Davies.

"Last weekend we had a good, gusty win against the Dragons at Rodney Parade. It is never an easy place to go to and their home crowd really got behind the Men of Gwent and made some noise.

"It was a bit of a scrappy game as Welsh derbies can be but I thought many of our players acquitted themselves well.

"We know Treviso will be a difficult team to beat. They are very physical, especially up front, and have a good set piece as they showed against the Ospreys."

The Blues, along with every other RaboDirect PRO12 side will be holding a minute's silence in memory of Nevin Spence who died tragically last week.

"The death of Nevin Spence, along with his brother and father, really put things in perspective," added Davies.

"I was fortunate to have met Nevin on a few occasions and he was a lovely guy along with being an extremely talented rugby player.

"I have no doubt he would have gone on to play international rugby for Ireland and he will be a great loss."

Meanwhile, Treviso will no doubt be smarting from last weekend's 19-18 loss to Leinster.

Team news sees Giulio Toniolatti come in for Ludovico Nitoglia on the left wing while Kristopher Burton replaces Alberto Di Bernardo at number 10. Up front there is a start for Marco Filippucci on the blindside while captain Corniel Van Zyl is replaced by Dean Budd.

Form: Strangely, all three of Cardiff Blues' RaboDirect PRO12 matches so far this season have been won by the away side on the day. Blues won 16-5 at the Dragons on Friday but have not managed back to back victories in the tournament since last February. The Welsh region has a perfect played 13, won 13 record in previous encounters with Italian opponents in all competitions. Benetton Treviso have slipped to successive PRO12 defeats to Irish powerhouses Munster and Leinster, although the latter reversal was by the narrowest of margins, the Italians having been in the lead with seconds left. Treviso have won their last two games against Welsh regions. Blues have won all four previous encounters between the two teams.

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tom James, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Bradley Davies (capt), 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Andi Kyriacou, 1 Nathan Trevett.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Campese Ma'afu, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Rory Watts-Jones, 21 Rob Lewis, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Edoardo Gori, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Giulio Toniolatti, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Marco Filippucci, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Francesco Minto, 3 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (capt), 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Jacobus Roux, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Valerio Bernaḅ, 21 Paul Derbyshire, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Luca Morisi.

Date: Saturday, September 22
Kick-off: 18:30 BST
Venue: Arms Park
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sean Brickell (Wales), Chris Williams (Wales)
Television match official: Tony Rowlands (Wales)

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Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Scarlets vs Zebre18:00
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:35
Friday , November 21
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Munster19:30
Connacht vs Zebre19:35
Ulster vs Ospreys19:35
Scarlets vs Glasgow19:35
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Sunday , October 12
Ospreys 26 - 15 Cardiff BluesOspreys vs Cardiff Blues Report
Saturday , October 11
Edinburgh 24 - 10 Newport Gwent D'gonsEdinburgh vs Newport Gwent D
Zebre 3 - 20 LeinsterZebre vs Leinster Report
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Benetton Treviso 6 - 9 ConnachtBenetton Treviso vs Connacht Report
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Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso 23 - 40 Glasgow
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Saturday , October 4
Leinster 23 - 34 Munster
Friday , October 3
Connacht 24 - 24 Cardiff Blues
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