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Preview: Ospreys v Treviso

14th February 2014 07:39

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SKY_MOBILE Rhys Webb - Ospreys - 16/12/11

Rhys Webb: 100th Ospreys appearance

Rhys Webb will make his 100th Ospreys appearance in Sunday's Pro12 clash against Treviso at the Liberty Stadium.

"It's good to be heading back to the Liberty after five weeks away," said Head Coach Steve Tandy.

"There has been plenty to like about the performances in recent weeks, with a largely young group of players setting about the job in the absence of our international contingent. They've shown a good attitude, a desire to play in a positive way, and have shown an understanding of how we are trying to take our game,

"After the win against Sale in Bridgend it was a different kind of challenge out in Ulster last week, and we were very unlucky to have to settle for a losing bonus. It was particularly pleasing to see a squad missing more than 20 players through injury and international duty really going toe-to-toe with a far more experienced, star-studded team. With a little more composure, a little more experience, we could have snatched a well deserved win at the death which would have been a fantastic boost for us going into back-to-back home games.

"As it is, we have no margin for error these next two weekends. Treviso will provide us with a tough challenge and we know that we'll need to sharpen up from where we were last weekend. It gets even tougher then next week when we have the league leaders, Munster, here at the Liberty. The games at this time of the year will shape the end of season placings so it's crucial we get the right performance in these games, on and off the field, if we are going to secure a place in the top four.

"Even with the players coming back to us from Wales this weekend, for which we are grateful, this is still a young group we've got. They are growing game by game, and are enjoying having this opportunity to show what they can do. With the young talent coming through, there is a genuinely positive feeling about our future, and I hope that is shared by the supporters. It's important that they get behind the boys, not only this week but between now and the end of the season - and beyond. We are doing our bit for the future in terms of developing local young talent, but we need the community to do their bit as well, bums on seats give us the cash to keep these boys here."

Form: Ospreys three game winning run in the RaboDirect PRO12 came to a halt at Ulster on Friday evening, whilst the Welshmen's only defeat in the competition by an Italian opponent came in Treviso in August 2012. Benetton Treviso have slipped to back-to-back defeats in the tournament against Zebre and Scarlets and have won only once away from home in any tournament since December 2012: 41-17 at the Scarlets in the PRO12 in May 2013. Treviso have won just two of their 13 previous encounters with Ospreys in all competitions, but have been defeated on all six of their previous visits to Liberty Stadium, failing to pick up a single bonus point in those games and conceding five try bonus point in the process.

The teams:

Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Jeff Hassler , 13 Jonathan Spratt (c), 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Aisea Natoga, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Tyler Ardron, 5 James King, 4 Lloyd Peers, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Dan Suter, 19 Ryan Jones, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Hanno Dirksen.

Treviso: 15 Mat Berquist, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Andrea Pratichetti, 12 Enrico Bacchin, 11 Brendan Williams, 10 James Ambrosini, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Marco Filippucci, 7 Meyer Swanepoel, 6 Christian Loamanu, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Valerio Bernab (c), 3 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 2 Franco Sbaraglini, 1 Matteo Muccignat.
Replacements:16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Romulo Acosta, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Giovanni Maistri, 20 Mantvydas Tveraga, 21 Jacopo Sarto, 22 Andrea Menniti-Ippolito, 23 Alberto Di Bernardo.

Date: Sunday, February 16
Kick-off: 16:00 GMT
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Jon Mason (Wales)
Television match official: Tim Hayes (Wales)

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