Planet Rugby

Preview: Treviso v Edinburgh

18th April 2013 12:21

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Tim Visser

Wing threat: Tim Visser

Edinburgh welcome the return of Scotland centre Nick De Luca against Treviso at the Stadio Monigo on Friday.

The 38-capped international was handed a seven-week suspension for a "tip" tackle on Ospreys wing Tom Grabham, and makes his first competitive appearance since February.

His return is a major boost to the club as they look to bounce back from last weekend's home loss to Connacht (32-24), against a Treviso team who have won their last four games in all competitions at home since their narrow Heineken Cup defeat to Leicester (14-13) in December.

"It's a massive boost to have Nick [De Luca] back in the team ahead of a very tough match," said interim head coach Stevie Scott. "He's an experienced, quality international player, and has been buzzing all week to get back out on the pitch.

"He brings a lot of value to the squad and will hopefully help us continue to take further steps in the right direction.

"We were all very disappointed with our performance against Connacht at Murrayfield last weekend, so first we want to see a reaction to that and a desire to get back on track, especially in the first 20 minutes, in what is always a crucial part of any match.

"Treviso is a notoriously a difficult place to play. They pride themselves on a strong set piece, and have a number of stand out players, including top Italian internationalists, that make them very dangerous team."

De Luca's re-introduction is one of four changes to the back division as Scott hands starting berths to a trio of the club's top young Scottish talent.

Harry Leonard (20), Dougie Fife (22) and Tom Brown (23) come into the starting side for Piers Francis and Lee Jones (who start on the bench), and the injured Greig Tonks (hamstring).

Vice captain and lock Sean Cox is set to make his 50th appearance for the club in an unchanged pack, while Jones and Francis' selection on the bench is the only change to the substitutes.

Meanwhile, Franco Smith has made several changes to Treviso's starting XV.

Among the backs, Brendan Williams is at full-back, Christian Loamanu and Ludovico Nitoglia on the wings and Tommaso Benvenuti at outside centre.

Brendan Williams and Ludovico Nitoglia will reach their 50th caps in the RaboDirect PRO12.

Alberto Di Bernardo and Fabio Semenzato form an all new half-back combination. In the pack, the front row is the same as last week's line-up, while as for the locks, Valerio Bernaḅ is replaces the injured Antonio Pavanello.

Form: Benetton Treviso's three game unbeaten run in the RaboDirect PRO12 ended in Swansea on Saturday evening. The Italians have won their last four games in all competitions at Stadio Monigo since their 13-14 defeat there to Leicester in the European Cup on 15th December. Treviso have won just one of their last six games against Scottish opponents. Edinburgh Rugby's two game winning run in the PRO12 came to a halt at home to Connacht on Friday. The Scotsmen's only away win in the PRO12 since September was also in Italy against Zebre on 29th March. Edinburgh have lost just one of their last six encounters with Italian opposition: 22-27 to Treviso at Murrayfield in October 2012. Edinburgh have the slight edge in previous contests with Treviso, gaining three wins to two.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Gideon La Grange, 11 Christian Loamanu, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Paul Derbyshire, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Simone Favaro, 5 Valerio Bernaḅ, 4 Francesco Minto, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (c), 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Kristopher Burton, 23 Luke McLean.

Edinburgh: 15 Tom Brown, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Nick de Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Netani Talei, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Steve Lawrie, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 John Yapp, 19 Perry Parker, 20 Robert McAlpine, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Lee Jones.

Date: Friday, April 19
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Kick-off: 20.30 loca time (19.30 BST)
Referee: Mark Patton (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Stefano Traversi, Simone Boaretto (both FIR)
TMO: Stefano Marrama (FIR)

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