Parisse to lead changed Azzurri

Fri, 08 Mar 2013 14:10
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Italian coach Jacques Brunel made seven changes, including six newcomers, in his team to face England in a Six nations encounter at Twickenham on Sunday.

Italian coach Jacques Brunel made seven changes, including six newcomers, in his team to face England in a Six nations encounter at Twickenham on Sunday.

Top of the list of changes is Sergio Parisse, who returns to lead the Azzurri, after he had his ban for 'insulting a referee' reduced earlier this week.

The only combination that remains unchanged is the back three - where Andrea Masi, Giovanbattista Venditti and Luke McLean retain their places.

It will be their fourth consecutive match together.

Gonzalo Canale retains his place in the midfield, but moves one place out to outside centre and will be partnered by Gonzalo Garcia in a new midfield combination. It will be Garcia's first start in more than a year - his previous inclusion in the starting XV having been against Ireland in the 2011 World Cup tournament.

There is also a new halfback combination, with Luciano Orquera back in the flyhalf position and Edoardo Gori retaining the No.9 jersey.

The loose forwards show two changes - with Parisse back at No.8, while Robert Barbieri will make his Six Nations debut on the flank after overcoming his injury issues. Alessandro Zanni retains his place on the other flank.

Brunel completely revised the second row - with Joshua Furno also making his Six Nations debut, while veteran Quintin Geldenhuys returns to the starting line-up at lock.

The last change is the front row, where veteran tighthead prop Martin Castrogiovanni and hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini retain their places, but loosehead prop Alberto De Marchi replaces Andrea Lo Cicero.

Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Luke McLean, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Joshua Furno, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto de Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Andrea Lo Cicero, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Francesco Minto, 21 Simone Favaro, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 Tommaso Benvenuti.

Date: Sunday, March 10
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 15.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

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Team P W D L Pts
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England 5 4 0 1 8
Wales 5 4 0 1 8
France 5 2 0 3 4
Italy 5 1 0 4 2
Scotland 5 0 0 5 0