Planet Rugby

Preview: Edinburgh v Treviso

04th October 2012 10:24

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David Denton Edinburgh

David Denton: Back for Edinburgh

Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley has named a strong side to tackle Treviso at Murrayfield as the club target a return to winning ways in the PRO12.

The Italians have taken notable scalps this season, stunning the division with their opening defeat of champions, Ospreys, followed by last week's win against the then pace-setting Scarlets.

Both successes have come at their Stadio Monigo home, with the green and whites arriving in Edinburgh seeking to add the capital club to the list of conquered sides so far.

After back-to-back losses to Leinster and Dragons on the road, the game presents Bradley's men with the last opportunity to improve their RaboDirect PRO12 standing before the group stages of the Heineken Cup get underway next week.

The Murrayfield men made many fond memories in last season's cup campaign, en route to the semi-final in Dublin, however thoughts of the competition are far from the coach's mind as he named five returning Scotland internationalists in a strong selection.

"We always enjoy playing at home, and played well against Treviso here last season [Edinburgh won the match 44-21], so we're looking forward to the match and the opportunity to get our campaign back on the front foot for our home fans," said Bradley.

"Treviso are a strong, physical, team and have more than half the Italian national side, so we certainly don't want to get into an arm wrestle with them.

"Our focus will be on retaining our shape and our width and putting pressure on them in the wide channels, something which characterises our style of play.

"We'd certainly prefer to go into the Heineken Cup having won our previous match however this game's importance lies with the RaboDirect PRO12 and our ambition to climb the table and make the play-offs."

Alongside the returning David Denton are openside flanker Roddy Grant and number eight Dimitri Basilaia, who gets his first start for the club.

Hooker and Scotland captain, Ross Ford, comes back into the squad with tighthead prop WP Nel, to join forces with Allan Jacobsen in the front-row, while lock Grant Gilchrist reforms a familiar second-row partnership with Sean Cox.

Fly-half Greig Laidlaw returns to captain the side and partners scrum-half Chris Leck, who gets his first start of the season, while Matt Scott returns to partner Ben Atiga in midfield and Lee Jones comes on to the wing.

Meanwhile, Treviso have made several changes to their XV as Alberto Sgarbi and Tommaso Benvenuti are at centre while Tommaso Iannone and Tobias Botes start on the wings.

Luke McLean is playing full-back this week, while Fabio Semenzato and Alberto Di Bernardo are at scrum-half and fly-half respectively.

Simone Favaro, who was down with the flu last week, is back as flanker and in front of him, captain Antonio Pavanello locks in with Francesco Minto.

Enrico Ceccato, Alberto De Marchi and Giulio Toniolatti return on the bench.

Form: Edinburgh have slipped to successive defeats to Leinster and the Dragons although both encounters were played away from home. Edinburgh have won four of their last five games at Murrayfield in all competitions and have never lost to an Italian side at the iconic venue. Treviso gained a second victory of the RaboDirect PRO12 season, both of which have been gained at home at the expense of Welsh opponents. Treviso have won just once on the road since last December: 33-32 at the Dragons on 13 April. The Italians' only previous win on Scottish soil in the PRO12 came at Glasgow in September 2011. Edinburgh have lost just once before to Treviso: 6-31 at Stadio Monigo on 6 May 2011.

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw (c), 9 Chris Leck, 8 Dimitri Basilaia, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 David Denton, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 John Yapp, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Netani Talei, 20 Ross Rennie, 21 Richie Rees, 22 John Houston, 23 Dougie Fife.

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Tommaso Iannone, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Tobias Botes, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Simone Favaro, 5 Francesco Minto, 4 Antonio Pavanello (capt), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Valerio Bernab˛, 20 Dean Budd, 21 Paul Derbyshire, 22 Kristopher Burton, 23 Giulio Toniolatti.

Date: Friday, October 5
Kick-off: 19:30 BST
Venue: Murrayfield
Referee: Matteo Liperini (Italy)
Assistant referees: Andrew Macpherson (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)
Assessor: Gordon McMurray (Scotland)

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