Gori in as O'Shea reshuffles

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 14:07

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Edoardo Gori will form a halfback partnership with Carlo Canna as new-look Italy look to cause the first big upset of the Six Nations with a win over Wales in Rome on Sunday.

Overall, Italy coach Conor O'Shea made five changes, mostly in the pack, from the side that scored an historic upset over South Africa last November as he named his starting XV for Sunday's clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

While Gori replaces Giorgio Bronzini at scrumhalf, Maxime Mata M'Banda will claim only his fourth cap for the Azzurri when he comes in for Simone Favaro at flank to make his debut in the Six Nations. Favaro is not named in the matchday squad.

Indeed, captain Sergio Parisse, claiming his 122nd cap for Italy, will marshal a completely new third row with Abraham Steyn replacing Treviso's Francesco Minto, who drops to the bench.

In the second row George Biagi replaces Andries Van Schalkwyk while prop Andrea Lovotti replaces Sami Panico, who also drops to the bench.

Italy: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Giulio Bisegni, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Luke McLean, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Maxime Mata M'Banda, 6 Abraham Steyn, 5 George Biagi, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Sami Panico, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Joshua Furno, 20 Francesco Minto, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Michele Campagnaro.

Date: Saturday, February 5
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Roma
Kick-off: 15.00 (14.00 UK time & GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: Johnny Lacey (Ireland), Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

Agence France-Presse

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