Ulster unlikely to be upset by troubled Treviso

Stuart Olding’s return after serious injury a real boost for Ben Kiss’s side

Stuart Olding (right) will return to the Ulster side after a long injury absence. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Stuart Olding (right) will return to the Ulster side after a long injury absence. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

 

GUINNESS PRO12 LEAGUE

Treviso v Ulster

Stadio Comunale di Monigo, 5.0

BBC 2, TG4

Ulster and Irish rugby will be delighted to herald the return of Stuart Olding for his first Guinness Pro12 match since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament against the Cardiff Blues last March.

The lavishly gifted footballer made his comeback to competitive fare last weekend with a try-scoring cameo for the Ulster Ravens in a British & Irish Cup defeat to English Championship side, Bristol.

Cutting edge

Louis LudikRon HerringIreland

The bench contains two academy players and teammates on last season’s Ireland under-20 team in number eight Lorcan Dow and wing Jacob Stockdale, the latter is included in Nigel Carolan’s age-grade squad again this season. Ulster coach Les Kiss continues to give young players an opportunity.

Treviso have not won a game in any competition since beating Cardiff Blues at home last February, although they have picked up eight losing bonus points. The Italians last victory over an Irish province was against Connacht in 2013.

The matches between the sides also make for grim reading for the home team, as Treviso have won just once in 17 meetings.

It’s been a touchy 12 months for the Italian club, both on and off the field with South African-born former player and director of rugby Marius Goosen taking the role of head coach again after a previous period in the position.

The assertion that Treviso must win a match at some stage has been a familiar mantra but Ulster will be very disappointed if they become the first team to succumb in almost 12 months, something that should not happen.

TREVISO: J Hayward; L Nitoglia, E Bacchin, A Sgarbi, T Iannone; S Christie, A Lucchese; Alberto de Marchi, R Santamaria, S Ferrari; F Paulo, T Palmer; Andre de Marchi, M Lazzaroni, R Barbieri. Replacements: L Bigi, C Traore, F Fillipetto, JF Montauriol, B Steyn, J Ambrosini, S Ragusi, A Pratichetti.

ULSTER: L Ludik; R Scholes, D Cave, S Olding, C Gilroy; I Humphreys, P Marshall; C Black, R Herring, R Lutton; A O’Connor, F van der Merwe; C Ross, S Reidy, R Wilson. Replacements: J Andrew, A Warwick, B Ross, P Browne, L Dow, D Shanahan, L Marshall, J Stockdale.

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales).

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