United Rugby Championship: Zebre calls on internationals ahead of Benetton derby

Date published: May 13 2022 - Adam Kyriacou

The second rescheduled match of the United Rugby Championship weekend is an Italian derby between Benetton and Zebre Parma on Saturday.

Benetton have enjoyed a week off in preparation for this Round Nine fixture while Zebre were beaten comfortably by Cardiff at the Arms Park last Friday.

That was Zebre’s 15th loss from 16 games this United Rugby Championship season as they sit bottom of the table, with Benetton two spots above in 16th.

For Benetton, Rhyno Smith starts at full-back with Edoardo Padovani and Mattia Bellini named on the wings, Fly-half Tomas Aboronoz and scrum-half Allessandro Garbisi make up the half-back pairing that will be crucial in the game on Saturday.

Inspirational Michele Lamaro leads the team from the side of the scrum while Simone Ferrari, Giacomo Nicotera and Thomas Gallo make up the front-row.

For Zebre, Italian internationals Jacopo Trulla, Carlo Canna, Alessandro Fusco and Danilo Fischetti all return to the starting line-up after being rested against Cardiff ahead of the rescheduled derby. Timothy O’Malley is sidelined with a knee injury while second-row David Sisi captains the side.

Young stars Franco Smith Jr and Ross Vincent will make their United Rugby Championship debuts if called upon from the bench.

The teams:

Benetton: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Edoardo Padovani, 13 Ignacio Brex, 12 Tommaso Menoncello, 11 Mattia Bellini, 10 Tomas Albornoz, 9 Alessandro Garbisi, 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7 Michele Lamaro (c), 6 Manuel Zuliani, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Giacomo Nicotera, 1 Thomas Gallo
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Ivan Nemer, 18 Nahuel Tetaz, 19 Giovanni Pettinelli, 20 Toa Halafihi, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Leonardo Marin, 23 Filippo Drago

Zebre: 15 Junior Laloifi, 14 Jacopo Trulla, 13 Erich Cronjé, 12 Enrico Lucchin, 11 Simone Gesi, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Alessandro Fusco, 8 Jimmy Tuivaiti, 7 Iacopo Bianchi, 6 Luca Andreani, 5 Andrea Zambonin, 4 David Sisi (c), 3 Ion Neculai, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Danilo Fischetti
Replacements: 16 Giampietro Ribaldi, 17 Paolo Buonfiglio, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Gabriele Venditti, 20 Ross Vintcent, 21 Nicolò Casilio, 22 Michelangelo Biondelli, 23 Franco Smith Jr

Venue: Stadio Monigo
Kick-off: 17:30 local (16:30 BST, 15:30 GMT)
Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR)
Assistant Referees: Filippo Russo (FIR), Rosella Franco (FIR)
TMO: Matteo Liperini (FIR)

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