Italy

Parisse looking for home comforts

Thu, 20 Feb 2014 15:26
Sergio-parisse-italy-animat
Three changes
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Captain Sergio Parisse is hoping the Stadio Olimpico can play its part in getting Italy back to winning ways against Scotland in the Six Nations on Saturday.

Italy have been on the road for their opening two fixtures of the Championship and lost both.

An opening day 15-23 defeat against reigning champions Wales at the Millennium Stadium was followed by a 10-30 loss to France in Paris last time out.

Despite the setbacks there were positives to draw on for the Azzurri, namely the performance of Michele Campagnaro - his two tries against the Welsh a particular highlight.

But this weekend's clash against Scotland - who are also reeling from two losses - gives Italy the chance to return to Rome in front of their home faithful for the first time in the 2014 Six Nations.

And No.8 Parisse is looking to put on a show, but more importantly get a result for his side.

"Although they also come from two defeats, we have a great desire to finally play at home in front of our audience," said the 30-year-old.

"The Six Nations is a fabulous tournament and to see that every year the Stadio Olimpico is almost always sold out is a great honour.

"Scotland is always a difficult opponent to face: we must play well and try to achieve a positive result."

* Meanwhile Italy made three changes to their starting line-up - with Angelo Esposito, Robert Barbieri and Alessandro Zanni earning starts.

The trio come in for Tommaso Iannone, Mauro Bergamasco and Francesco Minto respectively, with only Iannone remaining in the matchday 23.

Otherwise it is an unchanged XV. while Matias Aguero and Paul Derbyshire make the bench.

Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse, 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 Matias Aguero, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Tommaso Iannone.

Date: Saturday, February 22
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick-off: 14.30 (13.30 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Luke Pearce (England)
TMO: Geoff Warren (England)

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