Ghiraldini captains Italy

Date published: September 17 2015

Leonardo Ghiraldini will lead Italy in the absence of Sergio Parisse for their World Cup opener against France at Twickenham.

The Azzurri will be without Parisse on Saturday because of a leg injury with experienced hooker Ghiraldini taking over the captain's role as expected.

Jacques Brunel has picked an experienced lineup, with Samuela Vunisa taking Parisse's spot at number eight, alongside Francesco Minto and Alessandro Zanni.

Martin Castrogiovanni starts at tighthead prop, with Matias Aguero on the other side of Ghiraldini, while in the backs, Andrea Masi will start at inside centre.

The half-back pairing of Edoardo Gori and Tommaso Allan get the start as expected, while Leonardo Sarto and Giovanbattista will pose a threat on the wings.

There is no place in the matchday squad for veteran backrower  Mauro Bergamasco however.

Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Andrea Masi, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Francesco Minto, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Joshua Furno, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (c), 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Andrea Manici, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Simone Favaro, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Enrico Bacchin

Date: Saturday, September 19
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 20:00 local 
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)