Steyn gets Italy start

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:00
Large abraham steyn 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Italy head coach Conor O'Shea has handed Abraham Steyn a starting role for Sunday's Six Nations encounter with England at Twickenham.

Steyn replaces Maxime Mbanda in the loose trio while they will also have a fresh face at flyhalf with Tommaso Allan getting his first start of the competition, in a straight swap with Carlo Canna.

"England are one of the best teams in the world, second only to the All Blacks. They are a very clinical side that makes few mistakes.

"It's a big challenge for us. We will have to avoid the same mistakes we made against Ireland. We want to give a good account of ourselves at Twickenham and remain competitive for 80 minutes," Allan said

Giulio Bisegni comes off the bench to start in place of Angelo Esposito on the wing, while Exeter Chiefs' Michele Campagnaro - a late replacement against both Wales and Ireland - will start at centre in place of Tommaso Benvenuti.

Italy began this year's tournament with renewed hope and confidence following a historic 20-18 win over South Africa in the November Test series.

But despite glimpses of promise in their opening two games at the Stadio Olimpico, the Azzurri are staring at a likely 12th wooden spoon in 18 editions following defeats by Wales (33-7) and Ireland, who registered their highest ever Six Nations away win over Italy in a nine-try romp nearly a fortnight ago.

Against England, Italy are likely to be given little respite. Allan is hoping the improvements brought to his game by former England flyhalf Mike Catt, an Italy assistant coach, come to the fore.

"For Mike, it will be a big challenge, but also exciting for him down to walk on to the pitch in front of his audience, albeit as an opponent.

"It's great working with him. He's a great coach who works hard both on the skills of the team as with us on an individual level at the end of training, focusing on the small details that can make a difference," he added.

Italy: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Giulio Bisegni, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Luke McLean, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Abraham Steyn, 5 Andries van Schalkwyk, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Ornel Gega, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 George Biagi, 20 Maxime Mbanda, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Tommaso Benvenuti.

Date: Sunday, February 26
Venue: Twickenham, London
Kick-off: 15.00 (16.00 Italy time)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 4 0 1 19
Ireland 5 3 0 2 14
France 5 3 0 2 14
Scotland 5 3 0 2 14
Wales 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 0