Castrogiovanni back for Italy

2014-11-13 18:18
Martin Castrogiovanni (Gallo Images)

Genoa - Toulon prop Martin Castrogiovanni replaces Dario Chistolini in the only change for Italy as they look to follow up a 24-13 win over Samoa with a win against Argentina this weekend.

Italy's second game of their three-test November series will now be played on Friday over fears that predicted heavy rains in Genoa on Saturday would lead to further chaos in the flood-hit city.

The match will now kick off at 17:1 (18:15 SA time) on Friday at the same Luigi Ferraris stadium.

"The decision was made because of the very strong possibility of heavy rain on Saturday. Security officials felt that holding the match then posed just too much of a risk," said a statement from the Italian rugby federation (FIR).

Italy coach Jacques Brunel was forced to leave Castrogiovanni on the sidelines due to suspension last week as Zebre prop Chistolini claimed only his third cap for the Azzurri.

But the Frenchman has kept faith with the side that overcame a shaky first-half display in Ascoli with a stirring second-half performance inspired by New Zealand-born fly-half Kelly Haimona, which ended Italy's nine-game winless streak and gave them their first victory in a year.

Apart from Chistolini, there is only one change to the replacements bench with Francesco Minto replacing Robert Barbieri as reserve flanker.

If this weekend's match goes ahead, Haimona -- who kicked 14 points for Italy on his debut -- will partner scrum-half Leonardo Gori as Italy look to carry momentum into what, on paper, could be a tougher encounter against the Pumas.

Argentina succumbed 41-31 to Scotland at Murrayfield last weekend and coach Daniel Hourcade has made eight changes from that side.

It will be the 20th meeting between Italy and Argentina, who have dominated the series so far 13-5 with only one draw between the sides, in 1997.

Italy last beat the Pumas, by 13-12, in Cordoba in 2008 while under the reins of former coach Nick Mallett.


15 Andrea Masi, 14 Luke Mclean, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Kelly Haimona, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Joshua Furno, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Matias Aguero

Substitutes: 16 Andrea Manici, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Francesco Minto, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Giulio Toniolatti

15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 13 Horacio Agulla, 12 Jeronimo De la Fuente, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Tomas Cubelli; 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Facundo Isa, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Matias Cortese, 1 Marcos Ayerza

Substitutes: 16 Santiago Iglesias Valdez, 17 Lucas Noguera Paz, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Lucas Ponce, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Nicolas Sanchez, 23 Matias Moroni

Read more on:    martin castrogiovanni  |  rugby

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