News24

Italy coach makes two changes

2012-02-08 15:26

Milan - Italy veterans Marco Bortolami and Gonzalo Canale were recalled as the only changes in the starting team for the Six Nations match against England at Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Coach Jacques Brunel largely kept faith on Wednesday with the side which played well despite losing 30-12 to France in Brunel's debut last weekend.

Bortolami replaced Cornelius van Zyl as Quintin Geldenhuys' partner in the second row, and will pick up his 90th cap, while Canale was brought out of the reserves to inside center in place of Alberto Sgarbi. Canale has 73 caps.

There were three changes in the reserves. Benetton Treviso captain Antonio Pavanello could make his sixth appearance for Italy, two and a half years after he last donned an Azzurri shirt against Samoa.

Veteran flanker Mauro Bergamasco comes back into the 22, while Crociati center Luca Morisi could make his debut.

No 8 Sergio Parisse will captain for the 37th time, tying the national record of Massimo Giovanelli and Bortolami.

The Italians have never beaten England in 17 Tests between them, although Brunel's side will be spurred on by playing in front of 70 000 fans at a sold out Stadio Olimpico for the first time, rather than at the usual 32 000-seater Stadio Flaminio.

Teams:

Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Gonzalo Canale, 11 Luke McLean, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zannni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.

Substitutes: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Lorenzo Cittadini, 18 Antonio Pavanello, 19 Mauro Bergamasco, 20 Fabio Semenzato, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Luca Morisi.

England: TBA

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