Italy make 10 changes for Georgia showdown

Date published: November 8 2018

Conor O’Shea has rung the changes to his Italy line-up ahead of Saturday’s November international clash with Georgia in Florence.

Following a hefty 54-7 defeat to Ireland last Saturday, only Luca Sperandio, Mattia Bellini, Michele Campagnaro, Tito Tebaldi and Abraham Steyn have kept their places in the starting XV.

Steyn moves from flanker to number eight, where he will line up alongside Jake Polledri and Sebastian Negri in the loose trio.

Campagnaro captained the side against the Six Nations champions and scored the Azzurri’s only try, but this time around, Leonardo Ghiraldini is back in the XV to pack down alongside Andrea Lovotti and Simone Ferrari and has been entrusted with leadership duties. Alessandro Zanni and Dean Budd get the nod as the lock pairing.

In the backs, Tommaso Allan replaces Carlo Canna at fly-half to partner Tebaldi. Bellini switches wings to make room for Tommaso Benvenuti, while Tommaso Castello will partner Campagnaro at centre.

As his line-up would suggest, O’Shea is not taking this game lightly.

“We know the importance of the match well,” he said. “The team has recovered well from the trip to the US and we are ready to face Georgia. It will be a very physical match. We want to show our maximum level for 80 minutes.”

Italy: 15 Luca Sperandio, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Tommaso Castello, 11 Mattia Bellini, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Abraham Jurgens Steyn, 7 Jake Polledri, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (c), 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Cherif Traorè, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Johan Meyer, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Luca Morisi

Date: Saturday, November 10
Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence
14:00 GMT
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Frank Murphy (Ireland), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)