Italy change three for France game

Date published: February 21 2018

Italy head coach Conor O’Shea has made three changes to his team for their Six Nations clash with France on Friday night.

All are in the pack with Andrea Lovotti and Leonardo Ghiraldini coming into the front-row, while Maxime Mbanda is introduced at openside flanker.

Lovotti and Ghiraldini started the first game of this year’s championship against England and are recalled in place of Nicola Quaglio and Luca Bigi respectively.

Mbanda, meanwhile, is promoted from the bench into the back-row for Braam Steyn at openside – the latter dropping out of the matchday 23 altogether.

That means George Biagi comes onto the bench with both Renato Giammarioli and Giovanni Licata out injured.

Sergio Parisse captains the side that has an unchanged back line, with Matteo Minozzi in the back three alongside wings Tommaso Benvenuti and Mattia Bellini.

Tommaso Castello and Tommaso Boni are the centres while Tommaso Allan and Marcello Violi remain in the half-backs.

Italy: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Tommaso Boni, 12 Tommaso Castello, 11 Mattia Bellini, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Maxime Mbanda, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Tiziano Pasquali 19 George Biagi, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Jayden Hayward

Date: Friday, February 23
Venue: Stade Velodrome, Marseille
Kick-off: 21:00 local (20:00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Luke Pearce (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)


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