Azzurri change three

Thu, 21 Nov 2013 13:58
Only five wins for Italy

Italian coach Jacques Brunel has made three changes to his starting team for their third and final year-end Test, against Argentina in Rome on Saturday.

There is also a positional switch in the backline.

Young Michele Campagnaro, who made his debut off the bench against Fiji last week, comes in at outside centre for his first Test start and Gonzalo Canale moves from No.13 to inside centre.

The midfield change has been necessitated by the absence of Luca Morisi, who has undergone surgery to have his spleen removed - following a heavy tackle in Saturday's 37-31 Test win over Fiji.

Morisi was floored by a crushing tackle from Asaeli Tikoirotuma in the opening minutes and although he returned to the fray following treatment he looked jaded and was forced off shortly afterwards.

The backline shows one other change, where Tommaso Allan will also make his first Test start - having featured off the bench against Australia and Fiji in the previous weeks.

The pack shows just one change - where Robert Barbieri replaces veteran Mauro Bergamasco at flank.

It will be the 19th encounter between the Azzurri and the Pumas - with Italy having won just five of their previous 18 matches, with one ending in a draw and Argentina winning 12.

Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Giovambattista Venditti, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gonzalo Canale, 11 Tommaso Iannone, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Valerio Bernabo, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Joshua Furno, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Tommaso Benvenuti.

Date: Saturday, November 23
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick-off: 15.00 (14.00 GMT; 11.00 Argentina time)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: George Clancy (Ireland), JP Doyle (England)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)