8:34am Wednesday 9th April 2014
OUT of favour fly-half Kris Burton looks set to get the chance to put the boot into his old side when Newport Gwent Dragons travel to Treviso this weekend, writes Chris Kirwan.
The 33-year-old has been a big money flop since heading to Rodney Parade from Italy last summer.
Burton was signed by former boss Darren Edwards but Lyn Jones took over at the Rodney Parade helm in June and promptly secured the return of Jason Tovey from Cardiff Blues.
Tovey has bossed the number 10 jersey and has been under little pressure for his place in the big games.
Burton has featured just 12 times and has started as many games for Bedwas in the Premiership (two) as he has for the Dragons in the RaboDirect Pro12.
However, Jones is poised to bring him in from the cold to feature in the matchday squad for Saturday's clash at the Stadio Monigo and will be looking for the 21-times capped former Italy international to offer more than just translation skills in Treviso.
"Kris is travelling with us and will play some part against his old side," said the director of rugby. "He's got lots to show and lots to prove.
"He has to play within the team structure and become what we are looking for from a 10. He needs to play with determination and accuracy to help make us a good side."
Burton has been a key figure in recent meetings between Treviso and the Dragons, who have never won a Pro12 encounter at the Stadio Monigo.
He scored a late winner for the hosts in northern Italy in 2010, pulled the strings and bagged a 13-point haul in Treviso's 50-24 home win the following year and scored a clean sweep of a try, two conversions, a drop goal and two penalties in Treviso's 33-32 success at Rodney Parade in 2012.
Rhys Thomas is back in full training after recovering from a hand injury suffered against Ulster in February but is unlikely to feature in Italy.
The former Wales hooker will instead make his return against the Ospreys at the Millennium Stadium on Easter Sunday, leaving Wales Under-20s prospect Elliot Dee and Ospreys-bound Sam Parry as the options this weekend.
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group