Parisse out, Ghiraldini leads Italy

Date published: March 19 2015

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Italy will be without talisman Sergio Parisse as they make five changes for Saturday's Six Nations clash against Wales in Rome.

Parisse has been ruled out with a foot injury suffered against France last week, leaving hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini to take over the captaincy.

Samuela Vunisa moves from flank to number eight to fill the gap as Mauro Bergamasco comes into the starting XV on the side of the scrum.

Kelly Haimona will start at fly-half after withdrawing at the last minute last week, replacing Tommaso Allan, who is also ruled out.

Up front, there are two new props as Martin Castrogiovanni returns at tighthead, taking over from Dario Chistolini while Michele Rizzo replaces Matias Aguero at loosehead.

The bench sees the return of stalwarts Quintin Geldenhuys and Robert Barbieri.

Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Andrea Masi, 11 Giovambattista Venditti, 10 Kelly Haimona, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Joshua Furno, 4 George Fabio Biagi, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Andrea Manici, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Robert Barbieri, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Enrico Bacchin.

Date: Saturday, March 21
Kick-off: 13:30 local (12:30 GMT)
Venue: Stadio Olímpico, Rome
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle (England), Luke Pearce (England)
Television match official: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

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