Gower & Tebaldi get another chance with italy

Italy halfbacks Tito Tebaldi and Craig Gower are set to earn their 10th caps in an unchanged team for the Six Nations match against France at the Stade de France on Sunday.

The pair made its debut against Australia in 2009 and have become coach Nick Mallett’s first-choice halfbacks.

Prior to pairing Tebaldi and Gower in the pivotal halfback roles, Mallett tried a number of ill-fated experiments to find a duo he could trust, including putting flanker Mauro Bergamasco at scrumhalf and utility back Andrea Masi at flyhalf.

Pablo Canavosio and Riccardo Bocchino will again provide cover at scrumhalf and flyhalf from the bench. Last time out, Canavosio went on as a substitute to score the only try in the 16-12 win over Scotland at Stadio Flaminio.

“It is great (that they have reached 10 caps), but it is not just about these two,” Mallett said.

“You saw what Pablo could do coming off the bench. Plus there is Riccardo Bocchino, who is always ready to come on. So we have much more depth than before.”

In the forwards, prop Salvatore Perugini will make his 70th appearance and will continue his quest to finally score some international points.

Mirco Bergamasco will also make his 70th Italy appearance, while his fellow winger Andrea Masi will run out for his 50th international.

— Italy:

Luke McLean, Andrea Masi, Gonzalo Canale, Gonzalo Garcia, Mirco Bergamasco, Craig Gower, Tito Tebaldi; Salvatore Perugini, Leonardo Ghiraldini (captain), Martin Castrogiovanni, Quintin Geldenhuys, Marco Bortolami, Josh Sole, Mauro Bergamasco, Alessandro Zanni.

Replacements: Fabio Ongaro, Matias Aguero, Carlo Del Fava, Paul Derbyshire, Pablo Canavosio, Riccardo Bocchino, Kaine Robertson.

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