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Rhyno Smith on Loftus trip: 'We must believe that we have what it takes'

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Benetton have named their 28-player squad for their quarterfinal showdown against the Bulls this coming Saturday.


Unsurprisingly, Benetton went with their strongest possible squad to go up against the Bulls whom they faced just under a month ago having suffered defeat, yet managed to score five tries on the day.

Despite missing three Test internationals, they still boast nine Test players that make up just under a third of their travelling squad to do what many would consider to be mission impossible in South Africa.

Benetton fullback Rhyno Smith is under no illusion of the task that awaits them in the Republic.

When asked what his side will have to change to reverse the result against the Bulls in mid-May he responded: “The first time we didn’t do what we wanted to do. We have to focus on the things we can control: our identity, the kicking game and defensively we have to tackle low.

“We didn’t do these things last game against the Bulls. However, it will be a match like the others this season.

“We must believe that we have what it takes to win the match. We have 80 minutes to leave everything on the pitch.”


When asked if playing a knock-out match as a South African against a South African team will be a special occasion for him, he responded: “In some respects yes, because there will be many family members to see me.

“I grew up in South Africa, I have seen many matches in South Africa and playing at Loftus Versfeld will be special.

“As Benetton, we have never won in Pretoria and the first victory in South Africa came about a month ago against the Sharks.

“It will once again be an opportunity to achieve a historic goal – above all for this reason it must be a special match.”


The 28-man Benetton squad to South Africa are as follows:

Forwards: Bautista Bernasconi, Lorenzo Cannone, Niccolò Cannone, Simone Ferrari, Thomas Gallo, Toa Halafihi, Edoardo Iachizzi, Alessandro Izekor, Michele Lamaro, Gianmarco Lucchesi, Siua Maile, Tiziano Pasquali, Federico Ruzza, Eli Snyman, Mirco Spagnolo, Giosuè Zilocchi.

Backs: Tomas Albornoz, Ignacio Brex, Dewaldt Duvenage, Malakai Fekitoa, Alessandro Garbisi, Leonardo Marin, Tommaso Menoncello, Onisi Ratave, Rhyno Smith, Jacob Umaga, Andy Uren, Marco Zanon.

Players unavailable: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Gideon Koegelenberg, Marco Lazzaroni, Ignacio Mendy, Sebastian Negri, Ivan Nemer, Giacomo Nicotera, Paolo Odogwu, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Manuel Zuliani.

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