Friday’s Guinness Pro 12 Team News
The line ups for all of Friday night’s game in the Guinness Pro 12, including Scarlets, Ulster and Zebre.
Scarlets v Benetton Treviso-19.05 kick off
Wales Six Nations squad players Jake Ball and Aled Davies will start for Pro12 title chasers Scarlets in Friday’s home match against Treviso.
However, lock George Earle (shoulder), number eights Morgan Allen (foot) and Rory Pitman (chest) and scrum-half Rhodri Williams (concussion) all miss out on the Friday night tie.
Flankers Lewis Rawlins (shoulder) and Jack Condy (shoulder), hooker Emyr Phillips (knee), centre Scott Williams (knee) and wing Tom Williams (shoulder) are also Scarlets absentees.
Scarlets are currently in third place in the Guinness Pro 12 after a narrow 24-23 defeat to Edinburgh away from home last time out.
There is only one change to Treviso’s team from the slender loss to Munster as Tommaso Iannone comes in for Ludovico Nitoglia on the wing.
For the fifth straight game, the half-back pairing will be Sam Christie at fly-half and Alberto Lucchese at scrum-half.
Scarlets: Michael Collins; Steff Evans, Regan King, Hadleigh Parkes (capt), DTH van der Merwe; Aled Thomas, Aled Davies; Dylan Evans, Kirby Myhill, Peter Edwards, Jake Ball, David Bulbring, Maselino Paulino, James Davies, John Barclay.
Replacements: Ryan Elias, Phil John, Rhodri Jones, Tom Price, Will Boyde, Connor Lloyd, Dan Jones, Gareth Owen.
Treviso: Jayden Hayward, Angelo Esposito, Luca Morisi, Alberto Sgarbi (capt), Tommaso Iannone; Sam Christie, Alberto Lucchese; Alberto De Marchi, Luca Bigi, Simone Ferrari, Filo Paulo, Tom Palmer, Marco Barbini, Marco Lazzaroni, Robert Barbieri.
Replacements: Federico Zani, Cherif Traore, Filippo Filippetto, Jeff Montauriol, Dean Budd, Abraham Steyn, Chris Smylie, Simone Ragusi.
Edinburgh v Connacht- 19.35 kick off
Edinburgh Rugby’s four-game losing run in all tournaments ended with a single point victory over Scarlets in week 16.
Matt Scott, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Rory Sutherland return from international duty to be named in the starting XV, while centre Chris Dean gains promotion from the bench to start in the centre.
Scott and Dean form the midfield partnership, with the back-three combination of Tom Brown, Damien Hoyland and Blair Kinghorn retaining their respective spots in the starting side.
Phil Burleigh, who scored the opening try in last week’s 24-23 defeat of Scarlets, continues at stand-off and partners the incoming Hidalgo-Clyne at half-back.
Connacht have won their last five matches in all tournaments since their 18-21 defeat in Brive on 16 January.
Ireland international Nathan White, who played in all three 6 Nations game last month, has been released to play in Friday’s PRO12 clash. The tighthead prop joins Denis Buckley and Tom McCartney in the front row.
The return of Quinn Roux provides a timely boost as the lock is named to play his first game of 2016, having recovered from the ankle injury sustained in early December.
John Muldoon, who missed his only PRO12 game of the season last weekend, has returned to captain the side wearing the Number 8 shirt.
Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Chris Dean, Matt Scott, Tom Brown, Phil Burleigh, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Rory Sutherland, Neil Cochrane, John Andress, Anton Bresler, Ben Toolis, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Cornell Du Preez.
Replacements: George Turner, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Alex Toolis, Magnus Bradbury, Sean Kennedy, Sam Beard, Dougie Fife
Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran, Danie Poolman, Bundee Aki, Craig Ronaldson, Matt Healy, AJ MacGinty, Kieran Marmion, Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Nathan White, Quinn Roux, Aly Muldowney, Sean O’Brien, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon
Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Rodney Ah You, Danny Qualter, Eoin McKeon, Caolin Blade, Peter Robb
Ulster v Zebre- 19:35 kick off
Ulster have made four changes to their starting team for Friday’s Pro12 game against Zebre at Kingspan Stadium.
Hooker Rob Herring returns to the side as captain and is joined in the front row by Kyle McCall at loosehead prop and Ricky Lutton at tighthead.
Rory Scholes comes into the backline and is named on the right wing, with Craig Gilroy moving to full-back and Jacob Stockdale retained on the left.
With Sammy Arnold out with a hamstring injury, Stuart Olding plays at centre.
Zebre haven’t won since mid-January after their European triumph at Worcester Warriors, and have failed to record a victory outside of Italy in the Guinness Pro 12 since September 2013.
The away side will however welcome back three internationals to the team as Giulio Bisegni, Dario Chistolini and Edoardo Padovani return from Italy’s Six Nations squad.
He can also count on the contribution of Tommaso Castello, Fabio Semenzato and Ian McKinley in Ireland, but will be without four key players who were injured against Leinster on Sunday in prop Bruno Postiglioni, flanker Jacopo Sarto and two centres Matteo Pratichetti and Tommaso Boni.
Ulster: C Gilroy; R Scholes, L Marshall, S Olding, J Stockdale; P Jackson, R Pienaar; K McCall, R Herring (captain), R Lutton, P Browne, F van der Merwe, R Diack, C Henry, N Williams;
Replacements: J Andrew, C Black, A Warwick, R Wilson, S Reidy, P Marshall, S Windsor, D Cave.
Zebre: M Muliaina; G Toniolatti, G Bisegni, T Castello*, K Van Zyl; E Padovani, F Semenzato; A De Marchi, O Fabiani, D Chistolini; Q Geldenhuys, M Bortolami (capt); E Caffini, J Meyer, F Ruzza.
Replacements: E Coria, G Roan, P Ceccarelli, G Koegelenberg, F Cristiano, L Burgess, I McKinley, U Beyers.