Ex-Stormers scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage will take charge of Benetton as one of five SA-born players in the starting XV against the Vodacom Bulls on Saturday.
Having also played for Western Province and Boland Cavaliers as well as the SA ‘A’ and U20 sides, skipper Duvenage is set to run out alongside Rhyno Smith, Carl Wegner, Irne Herbst and Corniel Els at Loftus Versfeld in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
Herbst and Els, who both had stints with the Bulls, form a powerful second row for Benetton, behind Els at hooker, while former Sharks and Cheetahs utility back Smith will don the No 15 jersey.
The Italians are looking to make it two successive wins against the Bulls, following an impressive 35-8 victory in the 2021 Rainbow Cup final in Treviso.
Benetton – 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Ignacio Brex, 12 Tommaso Menoncello, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Tomas Albornoz, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage (c), 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7 Manuel Zuliani, 6 Giovanni Pettinelli, 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Ivan Nemer.
Subs: 16 Giacomo Nicotera, 17 Federico Zani, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Niccolo Cannone, 20 Michele Lamaro, 21 Alessandro Garbisi, 22 Filippo Drago, 23 Edoardo Padovani.