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Preview: Cardiff v Treviso

01st November 2013 09:52

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SKY_MOBILE Josh Navidi

Josh Navidi: Leads Cardiff

Flanker Josh Navidi captains a much-changed Cardiff Blues against Benetton Treviso in the RaboDirect PR012 at the Arms Park on Saturday.

Cardiff boss Phil Davies makes ten changes from the side that was defeated away at Ravenhill to Ulster last week with many of the squad now away on international duty with Wales.

A new-look front row sees Sam Hobbs, Kristian Dacey and Taufa'ao Filise pack down while Lou Reed is called up to partner Filo Paulo in the second row.

Navidi will lead the side from the back row where a fit-again Andries Pretorius comes in at blindside flanker.

The back division will see Lewis Jones and Gareth Davies, the late try hero of the last home game with Toulon, combine at half back.

Chris Czekaj and Tom Williams will aim to provide the firepower out wide while Dan Fish will be keen to reproduce his recent try-scoring exploits in the Principality Premiership as he is named at full back.

The replacements bench sees call-ups for Aled Summerhill, Alex Walker, James Down and Tom Davies.

"Our challenge is to pick up where we left off at Cardiff Arms Park against the European champions Toulon," Davies told the Cardiff Blues website.

"Two weeks ago we produced a magnificent display full of passion, character and real determination to secure a fantastic result. Only a repeat will be good enough against a talented Benetton Treviso side.

"This period now presents a big opportunity to a number of players within our squad to step up and stake a claim for more regular rugby. We are excited by seeing the strength within the Blues set-up during these upcoming fixtures."

Meanwhile, Treviso boss Franco Smith has made six changes to his starting line-up. Amongst the backs there are four changes with Michele Campagnaro replacing Luca Morisi at outside centre and Andrea Pratichetti starting on the left wing in place of Christian Loamanu.

New Zealander Mat Berquist comes in at fly-half at the expense of James Ambrosini while Tobias Botes takes over from Fabio Semenzato at scrum-half.

In the pack, Robert Barbieri is preferred at openside flanker to Alessandro Zanni and Valerio Bernaḅ takes over from Antonio Pavanello in the second row and as captain.

Form: Cardiff Blues' last five matches in all competitions have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Blues only defeat at the Arms Park since February was 25-30 to Zebre in Round Three of the RaboDirect PRO12. Likewise, Treviso's last five games have also been won by the home side on the day. The Italians' only victory outside Italy since April 2012 came at the Scarlets in Round 22 of last season. Cardiff Blues won their first five encounters with Treviso but were defeated in their most recent fixtures 17-26 at Stadio Monigo in March.

The teams:

Cardiff Blues:15 Dan Fish, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Richard Smith, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Chris Czekaj, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Josh Navidi (c), 6 Andries Pretorius, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Fau Filise,2 Kevin Dacey, 1 Sam Hobbs
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 James Down, 20 Rory Watts-Jones, 21 Alex Walker, 22 Aled Summerhill, 23 Harry Robinson

Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Andrea Pratichetti, 10 Mat Berquist, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Dean Budd, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Valerio Bernaḅ (captain), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Corniel Van Zyl, 20 Marco Filippucci, 21 Christian Loamanu, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 James Ambrosini.

Date: Saturday, November 2
Kick-off: 14:30
Venue: Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Wayne Davies, Chris Williams (both Wales)
Citing commissioner: Gwyn Bowden (Wales)

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