Conor O’Shea has made 11 changes to his Italy team to face England this Friday in Newcastle following last weekend’s loss to France in Paris.  


Full-back Jayden Hayward will link up with Mattia Bellini and Edoardo Padovani in the back three, the midfield consists of Tommaso Benvenuti and Giulio Bisegni, while at half-back there is a first Test start for Gloucester’s Callum Braley who will partner Carlo Canna. 

In the forwards, Braam Steyn keeps his place and will be joined by Jimmy Tuivaiti at No8 and Sebastian Negri. The second row is a combination of David Sisi and Dean Budd, who is skippering the team for the second time this summer after leading the charge in the August match versus Ireland. 

The front row consists of Simone Ferrari, Oliviero Fabiani and Nicola Quaglio, while the bench has a split of six forwards and just two backs, Guglielmo Palazzani and Tommaso Allan.

“We will face one of the strongest teams in the world in a match that represents a new step in our preparation towards the World Cup,” said O’Shea after announcing his side.

(Continue reading below…)

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“We will have a new opportunity to assess the players’ level of fitness in order to figure out later how to continue the path towards the first World Cup game against Namibia.”

ITALY (v England, Friday)

15 Jayden HAYWARD (Benetton Rugby, 18 caps)

14 Mattia BELLINI (Zebre Rugby Club, 18 caps)*


13 Giulio BISEGNI (Zebre Rugby Club, 12 caps)*

12 Tommaso BENVENUTI (Benetton Rugby, 58 caps)*

11 Edoardo PADOVANI (Zebre Rugby Club, 21 caps)*

10 Carlo CANNA (Zebre Rugby Club, 35 caps)

9 Callum BRALEY (Gloucester, 2 caps)

8 Jimmy TUIVAITI (Zebre Rugby Club, 4 caps)

7 Abraham STEYN (Benetton Rugby, 32 caps)

6 Sebastian NEGRI (Benetton Rugby, 19 caps)

5 Dean BUDD (Benetton Rugby, 22 caps) – captain

4 David SISI (Zebre Rugby Club, 6 caps)

3 Simone FERRARI (Benetton Rugby, 25 caps)

2 Oliviero FABIANI (Zebre Rugby Club, 8 caps)

1 Nicola QUAGLIO (Benetton Rugby, 10 caps)*


16 Federico ZANI (Benetton Rugby 10 caps)

17 Andrea LOVOTTI (Zebre Rugby Club, 37 caps)*

18 Marco RICCIONI (Benetton Rugby, 3 caps)*

19 Federico RUZZA (Benetton Rugby, 14 caps)*

20 Alessandro ZANNI (Benetton Rugby, 114 caps)

21 Maxime MBANDA’ (Zebre Rugby Club, 17 caps)*

22 Guglielmo PALAZZANI (Zebre Rugby Club, 33 caps)

23 Tommaso ALLAN (Benetton Rugby, 50 caps)

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