Preview: Zebre v Treviso

Date published: December 24 2015

Zebre coach Gianluca Guidi has made five changes to his starting XV for Sunday's derby with Treviso in Parma.

Despite beating La Rochelle in their Challenge Cup last weekend, Guidi has tinkered with his run-on side making three changes to his backline and two the forwards.

Amongst the backs, Giulio Bisegni takes over from Tommaso Boni at outside centre while Kayle van Zyl comes in on the left wing for Leonardo Sarto and Carlo Canna takes over from Edoardo Padovani at fly-half.

In the pack, Andries Van Schalkwyk is preferred to Paul Derbyshire at number eight and Dario Chistolini replaces Pietro Ceccarelli at tighthead prop.

Meanwhile, Treviso have rung the changes to their run-on side. In all there are 10 changes, including a positional switch, after they suffered a humiliating loss to Stade Français in the Champions Cup last weekend.

Luke McLean starts at full-back with alongside Andrea Pratichetti and Simone Ragusi on the wings. Tommaso Iannone and Sam Christie come in for Enrico Bacchin, 12 Alberto Sgarbi to form a new centre combination.

Edoardo Gori takes over from Chris Smylie at scrum-half while Jayden Hayward continues at fly-half.

The front row will consist of Matteo Zanusso, Davide Giazzon and Rupert Harden and Marco Fuser and Tom Palmer will pack down in the boiler room. 

Finally, the back row sees Marco Barbini, Francesco Minto and Alessandro Zanni starting with captain Zanni moving to number eight from the blindside flank.

Form: Zebre achieved their biggest ever winning margin in their short history in beating La Rochelle 25-5 last Saturday in the European Challenge Cup. Zebre have not won in the PRO12 since their round 6 eclipsing of Cardiff Blues in Parma. Benetton Treviso have lost their last twenty fixtures in all tournaments since defeating The Blues at Stadio Monigo in the PRO12 in February. Treviso have at least gained seven losing bonus points from their last ten defeats in the PRO12. The two sides have met on six previous occasions with Zebre’s only victory being 14-12 in Parma on 4 January 2014. They have however gained three losing bonus points in the encounters. 

The teams:

Zebre: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Dion Berryman, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Kayle van Zyl, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Jacopo Sarto, 5 George Biagi (c), 4 Marco Bortolami, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Tommaso D'Apice, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Kelly Haimona, 23 Ulrich Beyers.

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Andrea Pratichetti, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Sam Christie, 11 Simone Ragusi, 10 Jayden Hayward, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Alessandro Zanni (c), 7 Francesco Minto, 6 Marco Barbini, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Matteo Zanusso.
Replacements: 16 Ornel Gega, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Salesi Manu, 19 Filo Paulo, 20 Abraham Steyn, 21 Robert Barbieri, 22 Chris Smylie, 23 Alberto Sgarbi

Date: Sunday, December 27
Venue: Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma
Kick-off: 15:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Claudio Blessano (Italy), Matteo Liperini (Italy)
TMO: Alan Falzone (Italy)