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Italy make five changes

07th February 2014 14:05

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Francesco Minto of Italy looks on Six Nations

Starting: Francesco Minto

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has made five changes to his starting XV to face France in Paris on Sunday.

Brunel's starting side against Wales last week contained a mixture of youth and experience among the backs alongside a pack which has immense experience playing together.

However in a bid to foster "internal competition" for places, Brunel has made minor changes.

Both skipper Sergio Parisse and tighthead prop Martin Castrogiovanni will equal the national record of 103 caps held by retired prop Andrea Lo Cicero.

There are two changes to the backline that lost to Wales last week as Tommaso Iannone starts for the first time on the wing in the place of Angelo Esposito while Gonzalo Garcia returns at inside, taking over from Alberto Sgarbi, for his first cap since facing Samoa in South Africa last June.

In the loose trio, flanker Francesco Minto replaces Alessandro Zanni, who drops to the bench after breaking his nose last Saturday.

In the second row, Joshua Furno starts ahead of Marco Bortolami.

Up front, Alberto De Marchi is named at loosehead prop, taking over from Michele Rizzo .

Italy:15 Luke McLean, 14 Tommaso Iannone, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Joshua Furno, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements:16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Alessandro Zanni, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Angelo Esposito.

Date: Sunday, February 9
Venue: Stade de France, St Denis (Paris)
Kick-off: 16.00 local (15.00 GMT)
Weather: 9C. Partly Cloudy
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)

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1Ireland58
2England58
3Wales56
4France56
5Scotland52
6Italy50