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Preview: USA v Italy

22nd June 2012 09:32

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Riccardo Bocchino

Fly-half: Riccardo Bocchino

Italy have made several changes for the third and final leg of their June tour of South and North America, versus the United States in Houston.

Luke McLean, Roberto Quartaroli, Luca Morisi, Riccardo Bocchino, Edoardo Gori, Mauro Bergamasco, Carlo Festuccia, and Alberto De Marchi all come in following victory over Georgia.

Those eight run out in the full-back, centre, fly-half, scrum-half, openside, hooker and loosehead prop positions at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Meanwhile, USA coach Mike Tolin names a largely unchanged side from the team that beat Georgia 36-20 just one week ago in Colorado.

The only change to the starting line-up is on the wing, where James Paterson and Luke Hume swap positions. Paterson will start at 14 while Hume will start wearing 11 on the left. Both started last week, but in opposite jerseys.

Former USA Rugby sevens captain, and San Francisco Golden Gate stalwart Mose Timoteo comes into the squad as the reserve scrum-half. Timoteo brings a wealth of experience to the team having earned his first cap in 2000, and has 27 caps to his name.

Taylor Mokate, who remains in the XV after scoring in his first start for the Eagles last week.

Andrew Suniula was outstanding last week against Georgia as well, scoring a try and making big gains and line breaks all evening long. He returns to the XV at inside centre.

Todd Clever is back to lead from eight.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

USA: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 James Paterson, 13 Paul Emerick, 12 Andrew Suniula, 11 Luke Hume, 10 Roland Suniula, 9 Mike Petri, 8 Todd Clever, 7 Scott Lavalla, 6 Taylor Mokate, 5 Brian Doyle, 4 Louis Stanfill, 3 Eric Fry, 2 Chris Biller, 1 Shawn Pittman.
Replacements: 16 Derek Asbun, 17 Mike MacDonald, 18 Tolifili (Andre) Liufau, 19 Andrew Durutalo, 20 Mose Timoteo, 21 Will Holder, 22 Colin Hawley.

Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Tommaso Benvenuti, 10 Riccardo Bocchino, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Joshua Furno, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni (capt), 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Simone Favaro, 19 Tommaso D'Apice, 20 Tito Tebaldi, 21 Kristopher Burton, 22 Alberto Sgarbi.

Date: Saturday, June 23
Kick-off: 19:30 local (03:30 BST, 02:30 GMT)
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium
Referee: Jerome Graces (France)
Assistant Referees: Derek Stoltz (Canada), Marc Nelson (USA)
TMO: Davey Ardrey (USA)

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