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Preview: Edinburgh v Benetton Treviso

Edinburgh’s impressive European form has pleased Alan Solomons but the coach has called on his side to re-focus all their attentions on the GUINNESS PRO12.

Solomons’ side welcome Benetton Treviso to BT Murrayfield on Friday night looking to continue their unbeaten home record that stretches back to September.

The Italians have not won for 16 games since they took down the Newport Gwent Dragons in April and their away record makes for even less pretty reading – they have not won in their last 21 clashes on foreign soil.

Currently sitting eighth in the league table, the Scottish side are keen to climb the standings over the busy Christmas period and Solomons is confident his side are peaking at the right time. 

“What our great run of four wins in Europe – and the ones over London and the Welsh Exiles in particular – has proved is that our strength in depth is much better than before,” he said.

“The guys have been putting in some strong performances.

“Qualifying for the knockout stages in Europe would be a significant step forward for us.

“But before that we must gear up to taking on Treviso and a Glasgow side packed full of internationals who are among the best.”

Edinburgh Rugby's last five fixtures in the GUINNESS PRO12 have all been won by the home side on the day but Solomons has made four changes to the side that beat London Welsh last time out.

Sam Beard moves up from the bench to start at outside centre in place of Matt Scott who picked up a hip flexor injury in last Sunday's match.

Following an ankle injury sustained in Sunday's match, Rory Sutherland is replaced by Alasdair Dickinson at loosehead, David Denton returns from injury to take the No.8 jersey and captain Mike Coman moves to blindside flanker.

The bench remains the same with the exception of Joaquin Dominguez who takes the 23 shirt, replacing Beard.

There are plenty of changes for Treviso as well, especially the forwards, with Corniel Van Zyl back as captain and paired alongside with Tomas Vallejos in the second row.

In the front row, Davide Giazzon will be back as hooker, while in the back row Simone Favaro and Dean Budd both start.

There are only two changes among the backs, with Sam Christie wearing the No.12 jersey and Alberto Lucchese starting at scrum-half.

The two sides have met on eight previous occasions with honours even at four wins apiece, although Edinburgh have won only one of the last four clashes.

And after their chastening defeat to Northampton in Europe last time out, Treviso coach Umberto Casellato has called for a response.

"The responsibility for the Northampton game is ours alone, the staff," Casellato told La Gazzetta Dello Sport.
"Obviously during the week we were not able to transmit the right input to the players. The boys gave it their all and they did what they could but obviously that wasn't enough.

"Now we have a few days to recuperate before we go to Edinburgh next weekend and prove that the Northampton game isn't who Treviso are.

"In the matches that remain this year we have to produce a reaction that shows our pride."

At BT  Murrayfield, 7.35pm.  Live on BBC ALBA/Nuvolari
Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU, 31st competition game)
Assistant Referees: David Changleng, Sam Grove-White (both SRU)
Citing Commissioner: Paul Minto (SRU)
TMO: Iain Ramage (SRU)

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