Romania wait on Macovei hearing

Date published: October 9 2015

Coach Lynn Howells has named the Romania team to play Italy in Pool D at Sandy Park, Exeter on Sunday. It is subject to a judicial appeal concerning number eight Mihai Macovei.

Howells has otherwise made just one change to the starting line-up that beat Canada 17-15 on Tuesday.

Valentin Calafeteanu starts at scrum-half in place of the injured Florin Surugiu.

Calafeteanu is just one of three Romania players who remain from the match-day 22 when Romania last played Italy in a test, the 24-18 defeat at RWC 2007. Catalin Fercu, who starts at full-back, and Csaba Gal, who is on the bench, are the other players who were involved back then.

No player has made more test appearances off the bench for Romania than Calafeteanu (35), but nearly a third (11) of his career starts at scrum-half have come in the last two years.

As Surugiu drops out of the match-day 23 for this match, it gives a place on the bench to the only uncapped player in Romania's RWC 2015 squad, Tudorel Bratu.

If he gets off the bench, Bratu could become the 10th Romania player to make his test debut in a RWC match, and the first since Stefan Ciuntu in the 85-8 defeat by New Zealand at RWC 2007. 

Romania: 15 Catalin Fercu, 14 Madalin Lemnaru, 13 Paula Kinikinilau, 12 Florin Vlaicu, 11 Ionut Botezatu, 10 Michael Wiringi, 9 Valentin Calafeteanu, 8 Daniel Carpo, 7 Viorel Lucaci, 6 Valentin Ursache (c), 5 Johannes van Heerden, 4 Valentin Poparlan, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Otar Turashvili, 1 Mihaita Lazar
Replacements: 16 Andrei Radoi, 17 Andrei Ursache, 18 Horatiu Pungea, 19 Marius Antonescu, 20 Stelian Burcea, 21 Tudorel Bratu, 22 Adrian Apostol, 23 Csaba Gal

Date: Sunday, October 11
Venue: Sandy Park, Exeter
Kick-off: 14:30 local (13:30 GMT)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referees: George Clancy (Ireland), Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)