Bortolami to lead Azzurri
Bortolami to lead AzzurriSHARE
Lock Marco Bortolami will captain Italy in the absence of Sergio Parisse for the first mid-year Test match against Argentina on Saturday, as prop Alberto de Marchi earns his first cap, coach Jacques Brunel confirmed.
Parisse is still recovering from a thigh injury with Robert Barbieri taking the No.8 position backed up by Mauro Bergamasco and Alessandro Zanni.
De Marchi represented Italy Under-21 and Italy A and plays for Italian club Aironi.
Italy's first match is their hardest of the tour, against Argentina in San Juan on June 9, before they tackle Canada in Toronto on June 15, and the United States in Houston on June 23.
Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Tommaso Benvenuti, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Mauro Bergamasco, 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami (captain), 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Alberto de Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Lorenzo Romano, 18 Joshua Furno, 19 Simone Favaro, 20 Tito Tebaldi, 21 Riccardo Bocchino, 22 Giulio Tontiolatti.
Date: Saturday, June 9
Venue: San Juan
Kick-off: 15.40 (18.40 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)
Assistant referees: George Clancy (Ireland), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)