Italy chop and change for Fiji

Date published: June 5 2014

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has made five alterations to his starting line-up ahead of Saturday's international with Fiji in Suva.

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has made five changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's clash with Fiji in Suva.

Brunel has retained most of his squad that suffered a 52-11 defeat to England in their final match of the Six Nations in Rome, with the majority of his changes coming in the back-line.

Zebre scrum-half Guglielmo Palazzani will make his Test debut, coming in for Tito Tebaldi, who is included amongst the replacements, while Alberto Sgarbi starts at inside centre in place of Gonzalo Garcia.

Leonardo Sarto shifts from the left to the right wing, where he replaces Angelo Esposito, while Giovambattista Venditti will wear the number 14 jersey.

Amongst the forwards, Manoa Vosawai starts at number eight in place of the injured Sergio Parisse while veteran openside flanker Mauro Bergamasco replaces Robert Barbieri in the back-row.

Captain and lock Quintin Geldenhuys said the Azzurri expect a tough encounter against Fiji.

“We are ready for the challenge but will be taking a very cautious approach as the Fijians will be no pushover and they will be eager to win at home,” he said.

“They have a very good and powerful squad and we have a lot of respect for them.

“We will did not have a good outing in the Six Nations tournament this year and a win on Saturday will surely boost our confidence and morale.”

Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Giovambattista Venditti, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Joshua Furno, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys (c), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Andrea de Marchi, 18 Alberto de Marchi, 19 George Fabio Biagi, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Andrea Masi.

Date: Saturday, June 7
Venue: National Stadium, Suva
Kick-off: 15:00 local (04:00 BST, 03:00 GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant Referees: Johan Hoffmann (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
Assessor: Lyndon Bray (New Zealand)