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France have last year's loss to avenge. I think they'll be very motivated. Italy have to be switched on and I wish 'em the very best.
Sergio! Sergio! Sergio! Come on guys! lets see some of the Treviso European cup spirit at test level!
Posted 12:25 02nd February 2012
Can't understand McLean on the wing but otherwise looks good
Posted 09:35 02nd February 2012
McLean on the left wing proves that Brunel understands rugby. Double full back cover, a good left boot for tactical kicking, elusive runs which are complicated to stop.
Surprised by Venditti on the wing, he will have a tough assignment against Malzieu.
Intsy wintsy of SA's blood in the second row, it seems. .
France by a comfortable margin, though.
Posted 09:22 02nd February 2012
Gori deserve a real test to join the game at this level, but we have found a good scrum half only one year ago.... why does he put Fabio on the bench....
McLean on the wing????
Posted 19:35 01st February 2012
I'm surprised when I say...I actually think France could lose this fixture for the second time in a row if the Italians backline gels...
Posted 19:25 01st February 2012
I like this team,theres a good pack with a fly half who manages the game like a chess player,similar to O gara in terms of smart tactical kicking,decent back 3 and big physical centers. They are definetley capable of beating England Scotland and maybe even Wales.
Posted 17:08 01st February 2012
Some courageous choices by Brunel. We're going to have a quicker back line than the past, but a bit lighter too. There's a clear gap of experience with front line too, hope not to pay much for this kind of unbalancing.
Posted 17:03 01st February 2012
All in all is a good squad. Kris is a very good kicker and hopefully will slot in all those points to stay alive. The midfield is pretty well oiled up as Sgarbi and Benvenuti played together for more then a season, Sgarbi is a good physical player and there will be sparks with Fofana in front.
I have nothing wrong with the pack, thus wanted Rizzo instead of Lo Cicero. Rizzo by the way is in the emergency list.
It's good to see McLean playing wing, he got also a mighty left boot that might help.
Masi is my only concern as he got a minor injury earlier this week, but the guy is a wrecking ball...can't wait to see him smashing on Rougerie wall!
The flanker's battle will be hopefully epic...Barbieri is pretty impressive this year with Treviso, so is Zanni at the breakdown, while we all know what Parisse can bring. A great clash on the horizon against Dusautoir-Bonnaire-Picamoles, can't wait.
As for the bench, I feel that at the hour of the game Brunell could get in Botes as a winger, move McLean to 10 and Semenzato as a scrum half. This depends exclusively if Masi is fit, otherwise McLean back to 15.
Sadly for me, France will win anyway, they also got a better bench.
Posted 14:17 01st February 2012