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Defiant Smith happy to continue blooding youngsters

Guinness PRO12 Editor

19 Feb 2012

Treviso head coach Franco Smith has stressed the importance of getting young players used to the rhythm of RaboDirect PRO12 action while the established players are on international duty.

On Saturday Treviso failed to repeat last year’s heroics – when they beat Munster by a point at home – going down to the defending champions 35-14.

The heavy loss came after a 42-8 reverse at the hands of Leinster the week before but Smith admits his starting XVs may have looked different were he not trying to bring on the next generation.

Players such as winger Tommaso Iannone, 21, No.8 Marco Filippucci, 25, and 26-year-old prop Matteo Muccignat all featured against Munster.

“We’re trying to develop our players to improve our squad,” said Smith.

“If our aim was just to win the championship perhaps we wouldn’t be doing this.

“But we are trying to be competitive but also learn from this year’s edition to be more competitive in the future.

“We also want to win, we obviously don’t play not to, but we have another one or two objectives that are a bit different to a squad like Munster.”