Games don't come much bigger than this as Edinburgh travel to Italy to take on Benetton in a straight shootout for a URC play-off place. 

The winner is guaranteed a spot in the quarter final next week so Sean Everitt and his players know they will need to be at their best. 

Everitt has had to move players around given his back three injury problems and he's gone for James Lang to start at full back. 

Here, Kevin Millar takes a close look at the match.

KO 1.00 at Stadio Monigo
Saturday 1st June 2024

Live on Premier Sports 2

  • Edinburgh have lost on their last four trips to the Stadio Monigo with their most recent victory in Treviso coming in October 2017.
  • With the winner of this game guaranteed to make the playoffs, that’s a run that the capital club must bring to an end on Saturday.
  • Among the 26 forwards named by the two teams, Eli Snyman and Boan Venter are the only uncapped players.
  • There are 37 full internationals across the combined matchday squads.
  • This will be the 20th appearance of the season for WP Nel (18 starts). It’s the first time he has played 20 or more games for the club since the 2014/15 season.
  • Ben Healy has only missed four minutes of action in the URC so far this season, starting all 18 matches.


Scotland Rugby News:

(players in CAPITALS are full capped internationals, numbers in brackets are previous appearances for Benetton / Edinburgh)

Head to Head:

Scotland Rugby News:

Edinburgh Introductions:

Jake Henry returns for his first URC outing for two months – all bar one of the winger’s games for Edinburgh have been played away from home.

With injuries restricting options and every fixture having huge significance, Sean Everitt’s selections have been very consistent across the last five matches with the 23 for Benetton accounting for all bar four appearances (one each for Henry, Emiliano Boffelli, Connor Boyle and Jamie Hodgson) and at least 96% of the minutes played during this spell.

Matchday Milestones:

Luke Crosbie is in line to become the latest member of Edinburgh’s 100 cap club. The powerful back row debuted from the bench against the other Italian side, Zebre, back in October 2017 and has been a consistent presence for his club since then, never taking a backward step.

Veteran centre, Chris Dean, will rack up yet another milestone, making his 100th start for Edinburgh. His steadying influence could be vital and he needs to contain one of the home side’s key players, Ignacio Brex.

Focal Point:

The try bonus point may be in the back of the players’ minds on Saturday afternoon, with a five point win the only way of guaranteeing they avoid the dreaded eighth placed finish and, most likely, missing out on Champions Cup rugby next season.

Absolute focus must go towards securing a place in the playoffs though, in order for Edinburgh’s season to reach the bare minimum standard and keep them alive for another week – and with a chance to throw the kitchen sink at upsetting one of the top four teams.

Setting aside big wins over the league’s bottom two sides, Zebre and Dragons (36 – 14 and 36 – 19 respectively), Benetton’s average score at home in the URC is 15.5 – 14.3:

  • 13 – 13 Munster
  • 15 – 10 Lions
  • 20 – 17 Stormers
  • 18 – 13 Ospreys
  • 9 – 19 Glasgow
  • 18 – 14 Connacht

No team has collected a try bonus point against them in Treviso during the current campaign, while Glasgow are the only away side to leave Stadio Monigo with a win across a dozen fixtures in domestic and European competition.

Edinburgh have scored more penalty goals than anyone else in the league (Benetton are second) and, in Ben Healy, have the man who is almost certain to finish the regular season with the most points in the URC.

The home side give little away on their own turf but equally are not exactly prolific themselves. Converting a high percentage of chances into points could push Edinburgh into the playoffs – they might need a favour or two for that Champions Cup spot though.

URC form:

Scotland Rugby News:

Track record...

...away to Benetton during the PRO12/PRO14/URC era:

  • 4 wins
  • 7 losses
  • 2 Try BPs
  • 4 Losing BPs
  • 22 points out of a possible 55 (40%)

Previous match-up v Benetton in Italy:


Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 100th league game)
AR1: Filippo Russo (FIR)
AR2: Alex Frasson (FIR)
TMO: Aled Griffiths (WRU)

Mr Whitehouse’s regular season record for 2023/24:

  • Matches – 11
  • Average penalty count – 19.1 per game
  • Home side penalties conceded percentage – 44.3%
  • Average card count – 1.5  per game
  • Penalties per card – 12.4

Mr Whitehouse will join a very small club of referees who have taken charge of a century of URC fixtures, alongside Nigel Owens, George Clancy and Marius Mitrea, none of whom have officiated in the league since the 2020/21 season.

The Welsh whistler’s stats make a sin binning look almost inevitable, with his penalties per card numbers being particularly low and just two card-free games so far during the current campaign.

That has to be more of a concern for Edinburgh, who have had the most cards in the league so far this season (12) while Benetton have the equal fewest (5).

If this game does prove to be as close as so many have been this season in Treviso, then ten minutes or more shorthanded could make a crucial difference.

Additional ref stats from: