Italy make ten changes for Scotland play off

Italy’s French coach Jacques Brunel has made ten changes to the team that went down 39-10 to Samoa last weekend for this weekend’s play-off against Scotland in Pretoria on Saturday.

Just five players who lined up last weekend have been retained including two backs – fullback Andrea Masi and left-wing Giovanbattista Venditti.

Captain and No. 8 Sergio Parisse, lock Marco Bortolami and tight-head prop Martin Castrogiovanni are the only forwards to avoid the chop for a match at Loftus Versfeld stadium that will decide third place.

In come new cap Leonardo Sarto on the right wing, centres Luca Morisi and Alberto Sgarbi, Argentina-born fly-half Alberto Di Bernardo and scrum-half Tobias Botes, who was reared in South Africa.

Loose-head prop Matias Aguero and hooker Davide Giazzon are elevated to the front row, Leandro Cedaro makes his Test debut at lock, and Joshua Furno and Robert Barbieri join Parisse in the back row.

Centres Gonzalo Canale and Gonzalo Garcia, wing Tommaso Iannone, fly-half Luciano Orquera and scrum-half Edoardo Gori have been dropped from a backline whose only try against Samoa was a penalty try.

Prop Alberto Di Marchi, hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini, lock Valerio Bernabo and flanks Alessandro Zanni and Mauro Bergamasco are the forwards chopped by Brunel as he seeks to end a three-Test tour with a win.

The Azzurri (Blues) lost 44-10 to South Africa in the first round of a novel tournament featuring three rounds of Test double-headers with the Springboks tackling Samoa in the final after the play-off.

Scotland defeated Italy 34-10 at Murrayfield in Edinburgh last February and have won 13 and lost seven of the internationals between the countries since they first met 17 years ago.


Andrea Masi; Leonardo Sarto, Luca Morisi, Alberto Sgarbi, Giovanbattista Venditti; Alberto Di Bernardo, Tobias Botes; Sergio Parisse (capt), Robert Barbieri, Joshua Furno; Marco Bortolami, Leandro Cedaro; Martin Castrogiovanni, Davide Giazzon, Matias Aguero

Replacements: Leonardo Ghiraldini, Alberto De Marchi, Lorenzo Cittadini, Antonio Pavanello, Alessandro Zanni, Alberto Chillon, Gonzalo Canale, Luke McLean

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