Planet Rugby

Preview: Treviso v Connacht

25th April 2013 14:00

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Connacht s Mike McCarthy R

At lock: Mike McCarthy

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has decided upon four personnel and one positional change to his team that will face Treviso in the PRO12 on Friday.

Eoin Griffin, who picked up a knock during the last outing, has been ruled out. This season's top try-scorer Danie Poolman takes up the position at outside centre while 24-year-old Matt Healy is named on the right wing. The Lansdowne back came on from the bench during last weekend's defeat to current PRO12 league leaders Ulster.

Meanwhile, Adrian Flavin makes way for Ethienne Reynecke at hooker. Andrew Browne returns to the line-up at blindside flanker and is joined by fellow Galway native Eoin McKeon on the flank.

This is the last away game of the season before Connacht welcome Glasgow Warriors to the Sportsground next Friday. These two games remain crucially important to Connacht in their push for a best ever finish in the league.

Meanwhile, Treviso boss Franco Smith has included Ludovico Nitoglia and Doppies La Grange among the backs, with Luke McLean at full-back and Giulio Toniolatti on the wing.

Italy U20 player Michele Campagnaro is to make his debut with the green and white jersey.

As for the half-backs, fly-half Alberto Di Bernardo is alongside number nine Edoardo Gori.

In the pack, Michele Rizzo and Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet are starting while in the back-row Alessandro Zanni and Simone Favaro are playing with Robert Barbieri, who hasn't played since the match against Ulster on March 1.

Form: This match was rescheduled from March 30 when torrential rain prevented any play due to a waterlogged pitch. Benetton Treviso have won their last five matches in all competitions at Stadio Monigo and will achieve a best ever finish in the RaboDirect PRO12, hoping to make the top half of the table for the first time. The Italians are unbeaten in their last two encounters with Irish provinces. Connacht also have the chance of a best ever finish in the PRO12 (previously 8th last year. The Irishmen have won only one of their last three games: 32-24 at Edinburgh in round 20. Connacht have won their last six matches against Italian competition in all tournaments. The two sides have met on five previous occasions with Connacht having the slight edge by three wins to two. The two previous encounters in Treviso have been shared one win apiece.

The teams:

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy (capt), 14 Matt Healy, 13 Danie Poolman, 12 Brian Murphy, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Eoin McKeon, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Ronan Loughney, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Rodney Ah You, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 John Muldoon, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Tiernan O'Halloran.

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gideon La Grange, 11 Giulio Toniolatti, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Simone Favaro, 5 Valerio Bernabò, 4 Francesco Minto, 3 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (capt), 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Marco Filippucci, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 Luca Morisi.

Date: Friday, April 26
Kick-off: 20:30 local (19:30 BST)
Venue: Stadio Monigo
Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU)
Assistant Referees: Elia Rizzo, Filippo Navarra (both FIR)
Citing Commissioner: Achile Reali (FIR)
TMO: Maurio Dordolo (FIR)

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