Italy name team to face Australia in Turin

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has named his team to play Australia this weekend and said that they will not be taking their opponents lightly in Turin on Saturday.

Italy have never beaten Australia but 2013 has been a difficult year for the Wallabies and Italy are hoping to claim an historic first win over the former World Champions.

Australia’s hopes for a Grand Slam of five victories on their end-of-season tour of Europe were kept in check at Twickenham last week when England rallied from a 13-6 half-time deficit to win 20-13.

Italy, who beat both Ireland and France in the 2013 Six Nations, have made no major changes to their team ahead of their first November test apart from Luca Morisi’s inclusion at outside centre in place of Gonzalo Canale, who is out injured.

Australia expect a battle against Italy’s reputedly strong scrum, one of the tourists’ several weak points — going on results alone, it is the Wallabies worst period since the game went professional in 1996.

However Brunel, who as the former coach of Perpignan came up against McKenzie while the Australian was coach of fellow Top 14 side Stade Francais, is refusing to get carried away.

“Australia are one of the top four teams in the world,” said Brunel, who waved off suggestions the time is ripe to score an historic win.

“You can’t say it’s the best time to be meeting Australia. I’m sure that after last week’s defeat, which to me was quite unlucky, they will bring a lot of intensity and rhythm into this match.”

Number eight Sergio Parisse will captain the Azzurri at Turin’s Olympic Stadium for the hosts first November test, while Australian-born Luke McLean starts at full-back because first-choice Andrea Masi is sidelined through injury.

Italy’s newest recruit, Tommaso Allan, meanwhile starts on the bench.

Tommaso recently hit the headlines when he opted to take up an offer to play with Italy’s senior squad having played most of his international career at lower levels for Scotland.


Luke McLean; Tommaso Benevenuti, Luca Morisi, Alberto Sgarbi, Leonardo Sarto, Alberto Di Bernardo, Edoardo Gori, Sergio Parisse (capt), Robert Barbieri, Alessandro Zanni, Marco Bortolami, Antonio Pavanello, Martin Castrogiovanni, Davide Giazzon, Michele Rizzo

Replacements : Leonardo Ghiraldini, Matias Aguero, Lorenzo Cittadini, Quintin Geldenhuys Joshua Furno, Tobias Botes, Tommaso Allan Tommaso Iannone

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