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Italy make one team change and alter bench split to face Wales

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images)

Italy boss Kieran Crowley has made one enforced change to his starting team to host Wales this Saturday in Rome following their Guinness Six Nations round three defeat to Ireland. The Azzurri lost out 20-34 at Stadio Olimpico in a very entertaining match and the head coach has kept his changes to a minimum for what is this weekend billed as the wooden spoon decider.

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Both the Italians and the Welsh have lost all three matches so far and Crowley has been forced to make one backline change. Injured versus Ireland, Ange Capuozzo will miss the remainder of the championship and his position as the Italy full-back will be taken by Tommaso Allan.

It will be Allan’s 70th Test appearance. He started the championship at out-half in the opening rounds before dropping to the bench when Paolo Garbisi pitched up fit to face the Irish. The only other Italy alternation comes on the bench where Crowley has reconfigured his forwards/backs split.

Against Ireland, the Italy team went with a five/three forwards/backs split but against Wales the will go in with a six/two split as back-rower Manuel Zuliani has been named as an additional pack replacement, taking over the spot that Allan filled on the bench the last day.

“We recovered well from the last game and this week we worked on the areas where we needed to improve. We know the challenge ahead against Wales and we are looking forward to playing. Hopefully we can continue to develop the way we want to play,” said Crowley.

Italy team (vs Wales, Saturday – 2:15pm)
15. Tommaso ALLAN (Harlequins, 69 caps)
14. Edoardo PADOVANI (Benetton Rugby, 43 caps)
13. Juan Ignacio BREX (Benetton Rugby, 21 caps)
12. Tommaso MENONCELLO (Benetton Rugby, 9 caps)
11. Pierre BRUNO (Zebre Parma, 10 caps)
10. Paolo GARBISI (Montpellier, 22 caps)
9. Stephen VARNEY (Gloucester Rugby, 19 caps)
8. Lorenzo CANNONE (Benetton Rugby, 6 caps)
7. Michele LAMARO (Benetton Rugby, 24 caps) – captain
6. Sebastian NEGRI (Benetton Rugby, 43 caps)
5. Federico RUZZA (Benetton Rugby, 39 caps)
4. Niccolo CANNONE (Benetton Rugby, 28 caps)
3. Simone FERRARI (Benetton Rugby, 43 caps)
2. Giacomo NICOTERA (Benetton Rugby, 10 caps)
1. Danilo FISCHETTI (London Irish, 28 caps)

Replacements:
16. Luca BIGI (Zebre Parma 45 caps)
17. Federico ZANI (Benetton Rugby, 19 caps)
18. Marco RICCIONI (Saracens Rugby, 19 caps)
19. Edoardo IACHIZZI (Vannes, 3 caps)
20. Giovanni PETTINELLI (Benetton Rugby, 10 caps)
21. Manuel ZULIANI (Benetton Rugby, 8 caps)
22. Alessandro FUSCO (Zebre Parma, 8 caps)
23. Luca MORISI (London Irish, 42 caps)

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