RaboDirect PRO12 match preview: Treviso v Cardiff Blues

Last Updated: 23/03/13 7:07pm

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Sky Bet

Cardiff hand a debut to Filo Paulo in Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 encounter with Treviso at Stade Monigo.

The Samoan lock arrived in the Welsh capital earlier in the month after signing for the club from Super Rugby franchise the Auckland Blues.

Paulo starts alongside James Down in the second row as Cardiff, already out of play-off contention, look to find some form in the closing rounds of the campaign.

Their cause is helped by the return of several of their Wales contingent - Lloyd Williams, Scott Andrews and Lou Reed are back, though only the former is handing a starting berth.

However, Sam Warburton, Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts, Josh Navidi, Rhys Patchell, Alex Cuthbert and Andries Pretorius are all ruled out for the Blues.

Treviso, meanwhile, have some Italian stars back in their ranks after the end of the RBS Six Nations championship.

Edoardo Gori, Manoa Vosawai, Alessandro Zanni, Leonardo Ghiraldini and Alberto De Marchi are all available for the hosts, who currently sit two points above their opponents in the table.

Flanker Zanni - who starts in a back row that also includes Dean Budd - took second in the voting for the Six Nations player of the tournament, with Wales full-back Halfpenny winning the award.

Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Doppies La Grange, 11 Christian Loamanu, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Dean Budd, 5 Corniel Van Zyl , 4 Francesco Minto, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (c), 1 Alberto De Marchi.

Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Jacobus Roux, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Simone Favaro, 22 Edoardo Gori, 23 James Ambrosini.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Owen Williams, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt ,11 Chris Czekaj, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Rory Watts-Jones, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 James Down, 4 Filo Paulo , 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Taufa'ao Filise.

Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Robin Copeland, 22 Lewis Jones, 23 Gareth Davies.

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