Five Italian changes for Paris
Five Italian changes for ParisSHARE
Italy play France at Stade de France on Sunday and coach Jacques Brunel has made five changes to the team that gave Wales such a hard time at Millennium Stadium last week.
There has been much anticipation of the team announcement with the Italian website counting down the hours, minutes and seconds till a bored-looking young man, rubbing his stubble, scratching his head and wiping his nose, got Brunel to clear his throat and run through the team.
There has been some swapping to and from the starting XV and the bench. From the bench come Tommaso Iannone, Francesco Minto , Joshua Furno and Alberto De Marchi in the place of, respectively, Angelo Esposito, Alessandro Zanni, Marco Bortolami and Michele Rizzo.
The big change is at centre where Alberto Sgarbi drops out all together and Argentinian Gonzalo Garcia, capped 29 times for Italy, comes into the squad and into the starting XV. In the match against Wales it was Sgarbi that created the gap for Jamie Roberts.
Joshua Furno who takes the place of Bortolami is Australian born but grew up in Italy and has 14 caps for Italy.
Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Tommaso Iannone, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Joshua Furno, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martín Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Alessandro Zanni, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Angelo Esposito .
Date: Sunday, February 9
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 16.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)