Italy coach Conor O’Shea believes flanker Simone Favaro is the ideal person to replace Sergio Parisse as captain against Tonga on Saturday.
Favaro will captain Italy for the first time after Parisse received a three-week suspension, following a disciplinary hearing where he was guilty of foul play during a match for Stade Français against Bordeaux-Bègles in the Top 14.
The Italy boss says that Favaro was the obvious captaincy choice with Parisse ruled out.
“If there is a player who embodies the spirit of Italy, in this group, it is without a doubt Simone Favaro and I know that all the players will support it 100 percent on the field on Saturday,” said O’Shea.
O’Shea also announced the bench for their clash against Tonga which only sees one change, with Michele Campagnaro donning the 23 jersey in place of Tommaso Boni.
Italy (revised): 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Giulio Bisegni, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Luke McLean, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Giorgio Bronzini, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Sami Panico
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D’Apice, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 George Biagi, 20 Abraham Steyn, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Thomas Allan, 23 Michele Campagnaro
Date: Saturday, November 26
Venue: Stadio Euganeo, Padova
Kick-off: 15:00 local (14.00 GMT)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Alex Ruiz (France), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)