Suspended Zebras start for Italy

Date published: November 6 2014

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Disciplined Zebre pair Leonardo Sarto and Dario Chistolini have been selected for Italy’s November opener against Samoa in Ascoli.

Disciplined Zebre pair Leonardo Sarto and Dario Chistolini have been selected for Italy’s November opener against Samoa in Ascoli.

The duo, along with South African Andries Ferreira, were indefinitely suspended following Zebre’s historic first European win away in Brive last month, but eventually were handed a written censure and a fine.

As a result, they were recalled to the Italy squad and both will start against Samoa, on the wing and at tighthead prop respectively.

The decision to start Zebre teammate Kelly Haimona is the big call from Jacques Brunel, with the fly-half set for his international debut after a good start to the season.

As ever it’s a powerful Italian pack that will line up, with Sergio Parisse captaining the team from number eight in a back row that features Treviso duo Simone Favaro and Alessandro Zanni.

In the backs Michele Campagnaro and Luca Morisi form a young centre partnership, while Luke Mclean shifts to the wing to accommodate Andrea Masi at full-back.

Brunel has named an experienced bench, with former skipper Marco Bortolami and Leicester back row Robert Barbieri waiting in the wings, while Giulio Toniolatti could make his first Test appearance in more than two years off the bench.

Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Luke Mclean, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Kelly Haimona, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Joshua Furno, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Matias Aguero
Replacements: 16 Andrea Manici, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Robert Barbieri, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Giulio Toniolatti

Date: Saturday 8 November
Kick-off: 15:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Venue: Stadio Cino e Lilio Del Duca, Ascoli
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Greg Garner (England)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)

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