Benetton Treviso v Leicester Tigers preview: Tigers recall Telusa Veainu and Tommy Bell for Treviso clash
Leicester Tigers travel to Italy to continue their European Champions Cup campaign against Benetton Treviso this afternoon: 13:00 kick-off
Tigers recall Telusa Veainu and Tommy Bell to their backline
Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill insists the visitors will be in for a tough test
Leicester have recalled Telusa Veainu and Tommy Bell to their backline for Saturday’s Champions’ Cup trip to Italian minnows Treviso.
Tongan Veainu is named at full-back with Bell coming in at fly-half in the absence of in-form Owen Williams, who is rested.
Their return to the starting line up allows for a reshuffle in the back division with Peter Betham restored to the wing and captain Mathew Tait in at centre alongside Matt Smith.
Tom Croft also returns to the forward pack having missed the win over Stade Francais last weekend through a back injury.
After picking up maximum points against the French champions Stade Francias with an impressive 33-20 win in round one, Leicester will be looking for a bonus-point in their first away trip.
Tigers’ Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill insists his side will be in for a tough test this afternoon, but history suggests a Leicester win is in store, with Tigers having won all eight of their previous clashes with Treviso.
And Leicester, at 1/16, are odds on favourites to win the game, with their embarrassment of riches allowing for a fresh squad today.
In the home camp, Treviso, playing at their 6,700-capacity Stadio Comunale di Monigo for the first time in Europe this year, are still looking for their first win of the season after a battling performance in their 32-7 opening-round defeat against Munster away from home.
Benetton’s record defeat in this competition came in the form as a 67-0 reverse. While today won’t be quite at that level, Tigers should comfortably come away with the spoils, with a fresh back line looking to relish the opportunity. Leicester Tigers by 30.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Benetton Treviso: Tom Palmer
Something of a throwback to Premiership years gone by, the 36-year-old former Leeds Tykes lock, who joined progressive Treviso from Gloucester in the summer, is in the twilight of his career, but, with a 42-cap England career behind him, he will be keen to make his mark against one of his old adversaries.
Leicester Tigers: Telusa Veainu
After scoring 43 points in just six games for Melbourne Rising, the versatile outside back gets his chance today. A big window of opportunity for the 24-year-old who signed in the summer. The eight-cap Tongan international, who stands at 6ft3in and weighs in at over 16 stone, will be looking to prove his worth to the Leicester hierarchy in Italy.
Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Enrico Bacchin, 12 Sam Christie, 11 Tommaso Iannone, 10 James Ambrosini, 9 Edoardo Gori (c), 8 Abraham Steyn, 7 Francesco Minto, 6 Marco Barbini, 5 Jeff Montauriol, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Matteo Zanusso.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Filippo Filippetto, 19 Dean Budd, 20 Marco Lazzaroni, 21 Andrea de Marchi, 22 Chris Smylie, 23 Andrea Pratichetti.
Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Mathew Tait (c), 12 Matt Smith, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Tommy Bell, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Seremaia Bai, 23 George Catchpole.
Date: Saturday, November 21
Venue: Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Kick-off: 14:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant Referees: Sébastien Minery (France), Vivien Praderie (France)
TMO: Hervé Dubes (France)