Preview: Aironi v Munster

Date published: March 9 2012

Aironi will host play-off hopefuls Munster on Sunday in a rearranged RaboDirect PRO12 fixture at Stadio Zaffanella in Viadana.

Aironi host play-off hopefuls Munster on Sunday in their rearranged PRO12 game at Stadio Zaffanella in Viadana.

David Wallace makes a return to action from the bench while Mike Sherry makes his first start since September having suffered an ankle injury.

Included in the XV is Simon Zebo who missed the game against the Dragons through international commitments while Tomas O'Leary's call-up to the Ireland side means a place on the bench for Academy player Cathal Sheridan.

Sunday's game will be Aironi's third home fixture in a row, with this match was called off one month ago due to heavy snowfall in Italy.

Coach Rowland Phillips faces up to several injuries, suspensions and players away on international duty and subsequently makes five changes to his starting line-up. The most notable news is Tito Tebaldi starting at full-back, while Matteo Pratichetti is back in action at outside centre alongside Gabriel Pizarro. Riccardo Pavan and Sinoti Sinoti retain their place on the wings.

A new half-back combination sees Italian international fly-half Luciano Orquera start for the first time in a couple of months after returning from injury last week in the game against Leinster. Tyson Keats will play at scrum-half.

The only new face in the pack is Filippo Ferrarini replacing Simone Favaro at flanker in a back-row line-up completed by number eight Josh Sole and openside flanker Nicola Cattina. Carlo Del Fava is able to play after being hurt against Leinster and plays in the second-row with George Biagi. In the front-row Matias Aguero and Lorenzo Romano are the props, with hooker Roberto Santamaria skippering the team for the tenth time.

Form: This match was originally postponed on 12 February due to snow. Aironi have lost their last three encounters in the RaboDirect PRO12, whilst this is the Italian's third successive home game. Munster's only loss in their last ten matches in all competitions was 17-33 in Ulster in the PRO12 on 30 December. The Munstermen are attempting to complete their clean sweep of victories over Italian sides this season. Munster have comfortably won all three previous meetings with Aironi.

The teams:

Aironi: 15 Tito Tebaldi, 14 Riccardo Pavan, 13 Matteo Pratichetti, 12 Gabriel Pizarro, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Josh Sole, 7 Nicola Cattina, 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 Carlo Del Fava, 4 George Biagi, 3 Lorenzo Romano, 2 Roberto Santamaria, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Fabio Ongaro, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Salvatore Perugini, 19 Filippo Cazzola, 20 Emiliano Caffini, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Naas Olivier, 23 Alberto Benettin.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Denis Hurley, 13 Save Tokula, 12 Lifeimi Mafi, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Scott Deasy, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Peter Butler, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Mick O'Driscoll (capt), 4 Billy Holland, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Denis Fogarty, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Ian Nagle, 20 David Wallace, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Luke O'Dea.

Date: Sunday, March 11
Kick-off: 15:00 (14:00 GMT)
Venue: Stadio Zaffanella, Viadana
Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Filippo Bertelli (Italy), Stefano Traversi (Italy)