Experienced Italy Await England
Jacques Brunel has gone for experience after making two changes to his Italy side for the RBS 6 Nations clash with England at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday.
Former skipper Marco Bortolami comes into the second row in place of Quintin Geldenhuys while Clermont centre Gonzalo Canale replaces Alberto Sgarbi in the centres.
With 162 caps between them the Italian pair adds a wealth of experience to the side who are looking to bounce back from Saturday’s 30-12 defeat to France in Paris.
There are changes on the bench with Treviso second row Antonio Pavanello called in after his return from suspension, and uncapped Luca Morisi in line for a test debut having been preferred to Sgarbi.
Veteran flanker Mauro Bergamasco also returns on the bench ahead of Simone Favaro.
The Azzurri are set to play in front of their biggest home crowd in RBS 6 Nations history in the clash at the Olimpico, their temporary home while the Stadio Flaminio is being redeveloped.
And they will also be seeking a first-ever win against England, having come within four and five points in their last two home encounters with the Red Rose
Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Gonzalo Canale, 11 Luke McLean, 10 Kris Burton, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Lorenzo Cittadini, 18 Antonio Pavanello, 19 Mauro Bergamasco, 20 Fabio Semenzato, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Luca Morisi.
With thanks to RBS6Nations.com