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Preview: Treviso v Cardiff Blues

22nd March 2013 13:06

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Filo Paulo

Cardiff debut: Filo Paulo

New Cardiff second row Filo Paulo will make his Blues debut against Treviso in Italy on Saturday.

The big Samoan lock arrived in Cardiff in early March and starts for the Blues in the second row alongside James Down.

The Blues welcome back Welsh internationals Lloyd Williams, Scott Andrews and Lou Reed to the match day squad following Wales clinching the Six Nations championship last Saturday.

However, they are without host of big name players with Sam Warburton, Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts, Josh Navidi, Rhys Patchell, Alex Cuthbert and Andries Pretorius all having picked up injuries.

Meanwhile, the host also welcome back a number of internationals from Six Nations duty, including Edoardo Gori, Manoa Vosawai, Alessandro Zanni, Leonardo Ghiraldini and Alberto De Marchi.

Form: Treviso are unbeaten in their last two RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures, winning against Munster 34-10 at Stadio Monigo and drawing 29-all with Ulster at Ravenhill. Treviso's only defeat in their last five home games in all competitions was 13-14 to Leicester in the European Cup on 15 December. Cardiff Blues' only win in their last four PRO12 matches was 17-16 over Edinburgh at Murrayfield in round 15. The Blues have won all 15 previous contests they have played against Italian opponents in all competitions. The two sides have met on five previous occasions with Blues taking five wins and Treviso gaining just one losing bonus point for a 13-20 defeat at Stadio Monigo in the PRO12 on 3 March 2012.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Doppies La Grange, 11 Christian Loamanu, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Dean Budd, 5 Corniel Van Zyl , 4 Francesco Minto, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (c), 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Jacobus Roux, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Simone Favaro,, 22 Edoardo Gori, 23 James Ambrosini.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Owen Williams, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt ,11 Chris Czekaj, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Rory Watts-Jones, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 James Down, 4 Filo Paulo , 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Taufa'ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Robin Copeland, 22 Lewis Jones, 23 Gareth Davies.

Date: Saturday, March 23
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Kick-off: 19.30 local (18.30 GMT)
Referee: Giuseppe Vivarini (FIR)

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