Parisse fit as O'Shea changes four for Ireland

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 14:41
Large sergio parisse six nations trophy 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Captain Sergio Parisse has shaken off a neck injury to lead resurgent Italy into Saturday's Six Nations clash against embattled Ireland in Rome. 

Parisse was one of several injury concerns for coach Conor O'Shea following last week's 7-33 defeat to Wales at the Stadio Olimpico, but was named in the starting XV Thursday.

But after undergoing scans in midweek, the stade Francais No.8 - inspirational for Italy in a thrilling first half last Sunday - has been declared match fit. 

O'Shea, who made 35 appearances as a player for Ireland, made only four changes from the side that took a 7-3 lead into half-time against Wales at the Stadio Olimpico.

Angelo Esposito replaces Giulio Bisegni on the wing in the only change among the backs. 

Simone Favaro, rested as a precaution against Wales, pushes Abraham Steyn on to the replacements bench to take his place in the third row alongside Maxime Mbanda and Sergio Parisse, who will captain the Azzurri for the 75th time on his 123rd appearance.

Dries Van Schalkwyk replaces George Biagi, who returns to the bench, to partner Marco Fuser in the second row while Leonardo Ghiraldini, a second-half substitute against Wales, replaces Ornel Gega at hooker.

O'Shea has kept faith with his halfback partnership of Edoardo Gori and Carlo Canna, while prop Andrea Lovotti, whose second-half yellow card last week allowed Wales to fight their way back into the game, will start alongside Ghiraldini in and Lorenzo Cittadini in the front row.

Ireland travel to the Italian capital looking to make amends for an opening 22-27 defeat to Scotland at Murrayfield.

Italy: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Luke McLean, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Maxime MBanda', 5 Dries Van Schalkwyk, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Ornel Gega, 17 Sami Panico, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 George Biagi, 20 Abraham Steyn, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Michele Campagnaro.

Date: Saturday, February 11
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick-off: 15.25 (14.25 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 18 November 2017
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 12h00 Sixways
Italy v Argentina 13h00 Florence
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Wales v Georgia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Australia 15h00 Twickenham
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 15h30 Ricoh Arena
Ireland v Fiji 16h30 Aviva Stadium
Scotland v New Zealand 17h15 Edinburgh
France v South Africa 19h45 Paris
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 17 November 2017
Gloucester v Saracens 23 | 17
Tue, 14 November 2017
France XV v New Zealand 23 | 28
Sat, 11 November 2017
France v New Zealand 18 | 38
Ireland v South Africa 38 | 3
Wales v Australia 21 | 29
England v Argentina 21 | 8
Scotland v Samoa 44 | 38
Italy v Fiji 19 | 10
Sat, 04 November 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 37 | 8
Connacht v Cheetahs 23 | 15
Edinburgh v Ospreys 37 | 10
Barbarians v New Zealand 22 | 31
Kings v Ulster 36 | 43
Japan v Australia 30 | 63
Fri, 03 November 2017
Scarlets v Treviso 20 | 8
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0
France 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0