Four changes for Italy

Date published: September 24 2015

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Italy head coach Jacques Brunel has named his team for the Pool D match against Canada in Leeds on Saturday.

Brunel has made four changes to his starting team and named Mauro Bergamasco on the bench, meaning the flanker could equal Brian Lima's record of playing at five Rugby World Cups.

Bergamasco is the only player at RWC 2015 who made his RWC debut in the last century and would match Lima's five-tournament record if he gets on the field.

There are two changes from Italy's record-setting front row against France, with props Michele Rizzo and Lorenzo Cittadini stepping up from the bench into the starting XV, and Matias Aguero and Martin Castrogiovanni taking their places among the replacements.

There is also a new centre pairing with Gonzalo Garcia replacing Andrea Masi, whose RWC 2015 ended with an Achilles injury early in the opening-match defeat by France, and Tommaso Benvenuti joining him at 13 in place of Michele Campagnaro, who drops to the bench.

Neither Garcia nor Benvenuti were in the matchday 23 for the defeat by France, but the last time Benvenuti played a RWC match at centre for Italy he scored two tries in a 53-17 win over Russia. 

Benvenuti is one of five players, with Giovanbattista Venditti, Michele Rizzo, Joshua Furno, Alessandro Zanni, who also started Italy's last test against Canada, the 25-16 win in Toronto in June 2012. 

Castrogiovanni was Italy's captain that day and is now on the bench alongside fellow test centurion Bergamasco. Castrogiovanni could equal Alessandro Troncon's record of 14 RWC appearances if he gets off the bench.

Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Francesco Minto, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Josh Furno, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (c), 1 Michele Rizzo
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Mauro Bergamasco, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Michele Campagnaro

Date: Saturday, September 26
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds
Kick-off: 14:30 local (13:30 GMT)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

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