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Preview: Zebre v Ospreys

03rd October 2012 15:54

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Sinoti Sinoti in action for Zebre

Running threat: Sinoti Sinoti

Zebre will be without injured fly-half Luciano Orquera for Friday's PRO12 clash with reigning champions the Ospreys at Stadio XXV Aprile.

Orquera has a sprained ankle and is replaced by Alberto Chiesa in the number 10 jersey while Giovanbattista Venditti returns on the wing.

In the only other change to Christian Gajan's starting line-up, Emiliano Caffini is included ahead of Filippo Cristiano on the blindside.

There is a great deal of movement on the bench however as Carlo Festuccia, Salvatore Perugini, Flavio Tripodi, Filippo Ferrarini, Josh Sole, Alberto Benettin and Leonardo Sarto all make the squad.

Meanwhile, Ospreys coach Steve Tandy is not underestimating the Zebre, who lost narrowly to Glasgow Warriors last week, and named a formidable starting line-up.

"This is a big game for us and it's important that we keep the momentum that we've built up over the last couple of weeks going," explained Tandy.

"The whole squad has worked hard and last Saturday you could see clear signs that we are heading in the right direction.

"The win over Munster was about attitude, desire and commitment, typified by the way the team defended in their 22 in the closing minutes, they weren't content to just sit back with the game won.

"We can't get carried away though, we realise that we aren't perfect and we've still got a lot of work to do, there's plenty to put right.

"It's the first time for us to play Zebre but as a group we are all well aware of the threat they'll pose.

"We've struggled in Italy before, not least the defeat to Treviso at the start of this season so we know that we will have to approach the game just like we did the Scarlets and Munster matches and be at our very best, before coming home to kick-off Europe against Treviso at the Liberty Stadium the following Friday, another very difficult game against a very good team where we'll need the backing of a big, passionate crowd to help us."

Replacement hooker Richard Hibbard will make his 150th Ospreys appearance if he comes off the bench.

Form: Zebre gained their first ever league point during Friday's narrow 19-22 defeat at Glasgow despite being tied with just eight minutes remaining. Just one previous RadoDirect PRO12 encounter has been played in Parma: Zebre losing there 17-30 to Connacht in round two. Ospreys have won their last two games against Scarlets and Munster following losses in the first three rounds of the PRO12 this season. Ospreys have won five of their last six games played away from Liberty Stadium in the competition. The Welshmen have already lost in Italy this campaign: 6-12 at Treviso in round one. The two sides have not met before.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Zebre: 15 Daniel Halangahu, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Matteo Pratichetti, 12 Gonzalo Garcia (capt), 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Alberto Chiesa, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Emiliano Caffini, 5 Michael Van Vuren, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Flavio Tripodi, 19 Filippo Ferrarini, 20 Josh Sole, 21 Luca Martinelli, 22 Alberto Benettin, 23 Leonardo Sarto.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Ashley Beck, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Joe Bearman, 20 George Stowers, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Ross Jones, 23 Jonathan Spratt.

Date: Friday, October 5
Kick-off: 19:05 (18:05 BST, 17:05 GMT
Venue: Stadio XXV Aprile
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Stefano Pennč (Italy), Filippo Bertelli (Italy)
Television match official: Stefano Marrama (Italy)

  • Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Dragons vs MunsterDragons vs Munster Preview
Connacht vs ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Preview
Scarlets vs Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Preview
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Cardiff Blues vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
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Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues 24 - 28 MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Report
Scarlets 28 - 13 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Ulster 23 - 6 Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
Friday , October 31
Leinster 33 - 8 EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Report
Ospreys 26 - 11 ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Report
Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Report
Sunday , October 12
Ospreys 26 - 15 Cardiff Blues
Saturday , October 11
Edinburgh 24 - 10 Newport Gwent D'gons
Zebre 3 - 20 Leinster
Ulster 29 - 9 Glasgow
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PosTeamPPts
1Ospreys730
2Glasgow Warriors727
3Ulster726
4Munster723
5Leinster721