Brunel names 33-year-old to debut at No.10
Italian coach Jacques Brunel has benched veteran prop Martin Castrogiovanni for Saturday's Test against South Africa in Durban.
The encounter, in a four-nations tournaments that also features Samoa and Scotland, will see an Azzurri team that shows seven changes from the side that beat Ireland in their last outing - a Six Nations match in Rome back in March.
The changes will also see Alberto Di Bernardo become the latest in a long line of flyhalves entrusted with Italy's No.10 jersey, after the 33-year-old was handed his debut for the match at Kings Park.
The Treviso player excelled in the Pro12 competition and replaces fellow Argentina-born Luciano Orquera, who drops to the bench.
Orquera featured most often at pivot for the Azzurri during Italy's strong Six Nations campaign in February and March, when they beat France in the opening round and Ireland at the last match.
Centres Gonzalo Canale and Gonzalo Garcia, flyhalf Luciano Orquera and lock Joshua Furno are in the touring party but failed to get the nod from Brunel.
Luca Morisi and Alberto Sgarbi are the new centres and the uncapped Di Bernardo takes over at flyhalf
Edoardo Gori continues at scrumhalf.
Lock and former captain Marco Bortolami returns to the line-up after a year out following a shoulder injury.
Injuries ruled lock Quinton Geldenhuys and flank Simone Favaro out of the three-Test tour to the republic while loose-head prop Andrea Lo Cicero has retired.
Alberto De Marchi replaces Cicero in the front row, the new locks are Antonio Pavanello and Marco Bortolami, and Robert Barbieri comes into the Azzurri back row.
Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Luke McLean, 10 Alberto di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto de Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Valerio Bernabo', 20 Joshua Furno, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Tommaso Iannone.
Date: Saturday, June 8
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT; 17.15 Italian time)
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant referees: Nigel Hennessy (Wales), Blake Beattie (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)