Six Nations

Botes to start for Italy

2012-02-22 15:20
Tobie Botes (File)

Rome - Flyhalf Tobie Botes will make his first Italy start in Saturday's Six Nations championship clash with Ireland in Dublin after coach Jacques Brunel made four changes from the team who lost to England.

Treviso's South Africa-born Botes, who has made two replacement appearances during this year's tournament, has come in for Kristopher Burton as Italy try out yet another player in their problem position.

Burton drops to the bench alongside Gonzalo Canale with Alberto Sgarbi returning in his place at centre.

Prop Martin Castrogiovanni, who cracked a rib in the 19-15 defeat by England in Rome on February 11, has been ruled out for the rest of the competition so Lorenzo Cittadini has come in with Michele Rizzo another change in the front row.

Perennial wooden spoon side Italy also lost their opener in France 30-12 and go to Dublin looking for their first win there in 15 years.

Flanker Mauro Bergamasco, a previous mainstay of the team who has been sidelined by Brunel since the Frenchman took over from Nick Mallett before the championship, is out of the tournament after being banned for four weeks.

The Italian rugby federation said in a statement that the suspension followed a citing for a dangerous tackle playing for Aironi against Ospreys in the Celtic League.

His brother Mirco Bergamasco is still missing after undergoing surgery on his shoulder but could return for the final games against Wales and Scotland next month.

Teams:

Ireland: 15-Rob Kearney, 14-Tommy Bowe, 13-Keith Earls, 12-Gordon D'Arcy, 11-Andrew Trimble, 10-Jonathan Sexton, 9-Conor Murray, 8-Jamie Heaslip, 7-Sean O'Brien, 6-Stephen Ferris, 5-Paul O'Connell (captain), 4-Donncha O'Callaghan, 3-Mike Ross, 2-Rory Best, 1-Cian Healy.

Substitutes: 16-Sean Cronin, 17-Tom Court, 18-Donnacha Ryan, 19-Peter O'Mahony, 20-Eoin Reddan, 21-Ronan O'Gara, 22-Fergus McFadden.

Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Luke McLean, 10 Tobias (Tobie) Botes, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys; 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo

Substitutes: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Fabio Staibano, 18 Antonio Pavanello, 19 Simone Favaro, 20 Fabio Semenzato, 21 Kris Burton, 22 Gonzalo Canale

Read more on:    six nations
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