Match Preview: Zebre Parma v Benetton Rugby

Match Preview: Zebre Parma v Benetton Rugby

Both teams head into this Italian derby on the back of notable Challenge Cup victories over French opposition.

Zebre won 21-14 away to Oyonnax, with the boot of fly-half Gerónimo Prisciantelli proving the difference between the sides, while Benetton defeated Perpignan 29-7 as Rhyno Smith touched down twice.

That saw South African full-back Smith become the Treviso team’s all-time leading try scorer in EPCR competitions.

Zebre Parma v Benetton

Stadio Lanfranchi, Parma – KO 13.00 IRE & UK / 14.00 ITA / 15.00 SA

Referee: Filippo Russo (FIR, league debut)

AR 1: Andrea Piardi (FIR) AR 2: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR)

TMO: Matteo Liperini (FIR)

Live on: Sky Italia, Viaplay, SuperSport, Premier Sports, Flo Rugby &

Zebre Parma: Lorenzo Pani, Pierre Bruno, Fetuli Paea, Enrico Lucchin, Simone Gesi, Geronimo Prisciantelli (CAPT), Gonzalo Garcia, Danilo Fischetti, Marco Manfredi, Juan Pitinari, David Sisi, Andrea Zambonin, Guido Volpi, Giacomo Ferrari, Davide Ruggeri

Replacements: Luca Bigi, Luca Rizzoli, Matteo Nocera, Leonard Krumov, Iacopo Bianchi, Alessandro Fusco, Giovanni Montemauri, Luca Morisi

Benetton: Rhyno Smith, Paolo Odogwu, Tommaso Menoncello, Malakai Fekitoa, Onisi Ratave, Jacob Umaga, Andy Uren , Mirco Spagnolo, Bautista Bernasconi, Giosuè Zilocchi, Edoardo Iachizzi, Federico Ruzza, Alessandro Izekor, Michele Lamaro (CAPT), Toa Halafihi

Replacements: Siua Maile, Thomas Gallo, Tiziano Pasquali, Riccardo Favretto, Henry Time-Stowers, Alessandro Garbisi, Leonardo Marin, Edoardo Padovani

 Zebre Parma Head Coach Fabio Roselli said: "We know that Benetton Rugby arrive at the first derby with confidence, given their positive start of the season in terms of results. Zebre are also growing week after week: we arrive at Saturday's challenge strongly aware that we can compete on equal terms for the victory. We have a clear game plan that we want to play effectively for eighty minutes. As all the derbies, the team that controls emotions better and makes fewer mistakes will have a better chance of winning. Once again, we want to make our families and our public proud”.

Benetton Head Coach Marco Bortolami said: “The match against Zebre will be special because we know well that derbies are always strange matches. The Zebre will be fierce and we will have to prepare the match carefully in order to put in a top-level performance”

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