Planet Rugby

Preview: Ospreys v Treviso

12th April 2013 12:47

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Dan Biggar Ospreys v Treviso Heineken Cup

Pivot: Dan Biggar

Ben John starts on the left wing for the Ospreys in place of Tom Issacs in the RaboDirect Pro12 against Treviso on Saturday.

"We've reached the time of the season now where there is no margin for error. We may be in fourth place but the Scarlets are snapping at our heels so we will have to be at our absolute best for these three final games if we are going to secure a play-off place," said Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy.

"It's the final home game of the regular season on Saturday, and it's going to be a tough test against a Treviso team that has shown time after time this season how good they are. They've brought something really different to the PRO12 over the last couple of seasons and are really growing, as their results this season have shown. If we are going to get the win we need then it's crucial that we are accurate in everything we do from first whistle to last or they will make us pay.

"We're hoping for a good crowd to really help with this final push. The support throughout the season has been fantastic and it's helping to make the Liberty a difficult place for teams to come and get a result. We need that again on Saturday."

Meanwhile, Antonio Pavanello and his teammates are looking for their ninth victory of the season, which would equal the number of wins from their first season in the Magners League.

Treviso are unbeaten in three RaboDirect PRO12 matches. The last defeat was on 16 February: 40-5 at the Royal Dublin Society against Leinster.

They have won their last four clashes against Welsh teams, but the only win in the away in Wales dates back to April 2012, when Treviso won 32-33 against Newport. Franco Smith's team have never won in Swansea in five previous attempts. This will be the fourth clash this season between Ospreys and Benetton, with Treviso leading 2-1.

Form: Ospreys only defeat in the RaboDirect PRO12 in their last ten matches since November was 10-22 away to Connacht in round 15. Ospreys have won their last eight PRO12 fixtures at Liberty Stadium.

Benetton Treviso are unbeaten in their last three PRO12 encounters since losing 5-40 to Leinster at the RDS on 16th February. Treviso have won three of their last four contests against Welsh regions in all competitions, whilst their only victory on Welsh soil since 2007 was 33-32 at the Dragons in April 2012. The two sides have already met three times this season (once in the PRO12 and twice in Europe) with the Italian having the edge by two wins to one. Treviso have never won on five previous visits to Liberty Stadium.

The teams:

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Tom Habberfield, 13 Jonathan Spratt, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Ben John, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 James King, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Lloyd Peers, 20 Jonathan Thomas, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Tom Isaacs.

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Gideon La Grange, 11 Edoardo Gori, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Dean Budd, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Simone Favaro, 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 Marco Filippucci, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Kristopher Burton.

Date: Saturday, 13 April
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Kick-off: 18:30 GMT
Referee: Dudley Phillips
Assistant Referees: Ian Davies, Alan Jenkins
TMO: Tony Rowlands

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