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'Castro' to become most capped Italian

2015-09-17 20:58

Guildford - Grizzled prop Martin Castrogiovanni will become Italy's most capped player when he lines up against France in World Cup Pool D on Saturday.

'Castro', 33, will win his 114th cap, edging absent captain Sergio Parisse by one Test. Italy's front row will also be setting their own record.

Castrogiovanni with fellow prop Matias Aguero and stand-in skipper Leonardo Ghiraldini total 227 Test appearances.

That is 12 more than the previous mark of 215 when Gurthro Steenkamp, John Smit and CJ van der Linde started South Africa's 87-0 win over Namibia at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

Ghiraldini captains the side for the 10th time. The last time he skippered them against the French, Italy were humbled 46-20 at the Stade de France in 2010.

The halfback partnership consists of promising duo of scrum-half Edoardo Gori and Italo-Scot Tommaso Allan.

Gori is one of seven of the starting XV who played some role in Italy's last World Cup match, a pool defeat to Ireland -- who they meet again at this edition -- in 2011 when the Italians lost 36-6 and once again failed to reach the knockout stages.

The other two teams in the pool are Canada and Romania.

Team (15-1)

Luke McLean; Leonardo Sarto, Michele Campagnaro, Andrea Masi, Giovanbattista Venditti; Tommaso Allan, Edoardo Gori; Samuela Vunisa, Francesco Minto, Alessandro Zanni; Josh Furno, Quintin Geldenhuys; Martin Castrogiovanni, Leonardo Ghiraldini (capt), Matias Aguero

Replacements: Andrea Manici, Michele Rizzo, Lorenzo Cittadini, Valerio Bernabo, Simone Favaro, Guglielmo Palazzani, Carlo Canna, Enrico Bacchin

Coach: Jacques Brunel (FRA)


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