Heavy axe falls on Azzurri

Thu, 13 Jun 2013 15:14
Mauro-bergamasco-italy Martin-castrogiovanni-italy Mauro-bergamasco-italy-rela
Samoa have the edge

Italian coach Jacques Brunel made seven changes to his team for their second Test in the four-nations tournament, when they meet Samoa in Nelspruit on Saturday.

The changes follow after South Africa cruised to a comfortable 44-10 victory over Italy in Round One of the series at Kings Park in Durban last Saturday.

Top of the list of changes is the inclusion of veteran flank Mauro Bergamasco, who will start his first match for the Azzurri in almost a year.

There is also a return for veteran prop Martin Castrogiovanni, with Leonardo Ghiraldini at hooker.

At lock Valerio Bernabo comes in.

In the backline only fullback Andrea Masi, wing Giovanbattista Venditti and scrumhalf Edoardo Gori retained their places.

The new centre combination is Gonzalo Canale and Gonzalo Garcia, while Tommaso Iannone is on the other wing and Luciano Orquera has been named at flyhalf.

It will be the fifth time these two sides meet with Samoa - who overpowered Scotland in Durban last week - having beaten the Azzurri three times in their past encounters.

Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Tommaso Iannone, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Valerio Bernabo, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Andrea Manici, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Alberto Di Bernardo, 23 Luke Mclean.

Date: Saturday, 15 June
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 14.15 (12.15 GMT; 08.15 Sunday, June 16 Samoan time)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Tiaan Jonker (South Africa)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)