Italy change four for Ireland

Date published: February 9 2017

Italy head coach Conor O’Shea has made four changes to his run-on side for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Ireland in Rome.

There are three changes in the forwards, with Leonardo Ghiraldini coming in at hooker where he replaces Ornel Gega while Andries van Schalkwyk takes over from George Biagi in the second row.

The final change in the pack sees Simone Favaro coming in for Abraham Steyn in the back row.

Favaro will start on the openside flank while Maxime Mbanda shifts to the other side of the scrum after wearing the number seven shirt in last weekend’s defeat to Wales.

In the only change in the back-line, Angelo Esposito is preferred to Giulio Bisegni on the right wing.

The Azzurri received a boost when their inspirational captain and number eight, Sergio Parisse, was ruled fit for this fixture. Parisse was battling with a neck injury earlier in the week.

Italy: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Luke Mclean, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Maxime Mbanda, 5 Andries van Schalkwyk, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Ornel Gega, 17 Sami Panico, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 George Biagi, 20 Abraham Steyn, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Michele Campagnaro

Date: Saturday, February 11
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick-off: 15:25 local (14:25 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

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