Benetton Treviso head coach Franco Smith is asking for more of the same after the Italian side’s impressive first season in the Celtic League.
Treviso kick off their RaboDirect PRO12 campaign at home to Connacht at the Stadio di Monigo on Saturday but will be without twelve members of their squad who are away at the World Cup in Italy.
But with very few changes within the playing squad, Alberto di Bernardo being the highest profile arrival in North-East Italy, Smith has backed his settled squad to carry on from where they left off last year.
“I’m really happy because the lads have been able to work well for a couple of months, perfecting moves and automatisms. Even the new arrivals have been able to adapt quickly,” said Smith.
“Our objective is continuity from last season. We have had one year now and have learned a great deal.
“We gained a lot of respect last season and it’s a pleasure to know that our qualities have been recognised. Even Joe Schmidt, the coach of the European champions Leinster, said Benetton was the team which showed the most passion in last year’s Celtic League.
“It will be a new challenge for us and we are starting again from scratch. Connacht have changed a lot of players and the coaches will have been working hard over the summer.”