Cardiff Blues 34 - 18 Benetton Rugby
Sat 22 September 18:30 Cardiff Arms Park Att: 8,138 Ref: Peter Fitzgibbon Pro12

Davies selects side for Treviso clash

Fri 21 Sep 2012 09:29 Davies selects side for Treviso clash
The Blues won 16-5 at the Dragons on Friday but have not managed back-to-back victories in the tournament since last February. However, they have a perfect played 13, won 13 record in previous encounters with Italian opponents in all competitions.

Benetton Treviso have slipped to successive PRO12 defeats to Irish powerhouses Munster and Leinster, although the latter reversal was by the narrowest of margins, the Italians having been in the lead with seconds left.

Treviso have won their last two games against Welsh regions recording a notable opening round win over Ospreys. However, the Blues have won all four previous encounters between the two teams.

Speaking ahead of the fixture Phil Davies said,

“It’s great to be back at the Arms Park for our second home RaboDirect PRO12 fixture.

“Last weekend we had a good, gusty win against the Dragons at Rodney Parade. It is never an easy place to go to and their home crowd really got behind the Men of Gwent and made some noise.

“It was a bit of a scrappy game as Welsh derbies can be but I thought many of our players acquitted themselves well.

“We know Treviso will be a difficult team to beat. They are very physical, especially up front, and have a good set piece as they showed against the Ospreys.”

The Blues have made seven changes to the team that beat the Dragons. In the backs Dan Fish comes in at fullback, Jamie Roberts starts for the first time at Centre and Tom James starts on the wing.

There are four changes in the forwards. New signing Robin Copeland starts and Number 8, Lou Reed starts at Lock and Benoit Bourrust and Andi Kyriacou in the front row.

The Blues, along with every other RaboDirect side will be holding a minute’s silence in memory of Nevin Spence who died tragically last week. Speaking of the Ulster Centre, Davies, added,

“The death of Nevin Spence, along with his brother and father, really put things in perspective.

“I was fortunate to have met Nevin on a few occasions and he was a lovely guy along with being an extremely talented rugby player.

“I have no doubt he would have gone on to play international rugby for Ireland and he will be a great loss."

Cardiff Blues 15. Dan Fish 14. Alex Cuthbert 13. Gavin Evans 12. Jamie Roberts 11. Tom James 10. Rhys Patchell 9. Lloyd Williams

8. Robin Copeland 7. Sam Warburton 6. Josh Navidi 5. Lou Reed 4. Bradley Davies (c) 3.Benoit Bourrust 2. Andi Kyriacou 1.Nathan Trevett

16. Kristian Dacey 17. Campese Ma’afu 18.Scott Andrews 19. Macauley Cook 20.Rory Watts-Jones 21.Rob Lewis 22. Jason Tovey 23. Dafydd Hewitt

Benetton Treviso 15 Luke McLean 14 Edoardo Gori 13 Tommaso Benvenuti 12 Alberto Sgarbi 11 Giulio Toniolatti 10 Kristopher Burton 9 Tobias Botes

8 Robert Barbieri 7 Alessandro Zanni 6 Marco Filippucci 5 Dean Budd 4 Francesco Minto 3 Ignacio Frenandez-Rouyet 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (Capt)
1 Alberto De Marchi

16 Franco Sbaraglini 17 Michele Rizzo 18 Jacobus Roux 19 Antonio Pavanello
20 Valerio Bernabo 21 Paul Derbyshire 22 Fabio Semenzato 23 Luca Morisi

Injury list

Jake Cooper-Woolley: ACL reconstruction on Wednesday - will start rehabilitation process next week - expected 6 months + return

Chris Czekaj - successful surgery 3 weeks ago - expected return in 3-4 months

Ryan Harford - neck surgery 10 weeks ago - expected integration into training within next few weeks

Michael Paterson - recovering from shoulder injury - return in October

Leigh Halfpenny - mid grade ankle sprain against Edinburgh, expected to return in 2 -3 weeks

Sam Hobbs - injured ACLreturning to full training in October