Snapped cruciate ligament rules Parisse out

Italy captain Sergio Parisse will miss Saturday’s international test against Samoa in Ascoli on Saturday after snapping his cruciate knee ligament in training.

Parisse had been named in coach Nick Mallett’s original team on Thursday but following a scan on his knee, Italy released a statement explaining that the Stade Francais number eight would be out for four to six months.

“The clinical and instrumental exams showed an instability in the front of the knee which will be re-evaluated in the coming days,” said team doctor Roberto Pozzoni.

“At the moment we’re not ruling out the possibility of surgical intervention with a recuperation period of between 120 and 180 days.”

South African Mallett had named the same side that lost 20-6 to New Zealand two weeks ago, making five changes from the team beaten 32-10 by South Africa last week.

But with Parisse out he has now had to draft in Josh Sole at flanker with Alessandro Zanni moving to number eight.

Backs Kaine Robertson, Gonzalo Canale and Tito Tebaldi as well as forwards Mauro Bergamasco and Leonardo Ghiraldini were all restored to the starting line-up having been dropped against South Africa.

Hooker Ghiraldini will also take over the captain’s armband.

Mallett included one uncapped player, Rovigo back Riccardo Bocchino, on the bench while Antonio Pavanello will also be on the bench following Sole’s promotion to the starting XV.

Italy are trying to end a 13-match losing streak.

Italy Team (15-1):

Luke McLean; Kaine Robertson, Gonzalo Canale, Gonzalo Garcia, Mirco Bergamasco; Craig Gower, Tito Tebaldi; Alessandro Zanni, Mauro Bergamasco, Josh Sole; Quintin Geldenhuys, Carlo Antonio Del Fava; Martin Castrogiovanni, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Salvatore Perugini

Replacements: Fabio Ongaro, Ignacio Rouyet, Antonio Pavanello, Simone Favaro, Simon Piccone, Riccardo Bocchino, Alberto Sgarbi

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