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Italy make three changes for France encounter

By Peter Thompson
Italy flanker Maxime Mbanda

Andrea Lovotti, Leonardo Ghiraldini and Maxime Mbanda have been included in Italy’s starting line-up for the Six Nations clash with France on Friday.


Prop Lovotti and hooker Ghiraldini dropped to the bench for the thumping at the hands of Ireland last time out, but come back into the side in Marseille at the expense of Nicola Quaglio and Luca Bigi.

Conor O’Shea has also selected flanker Mbanda, who was named among the replacements in Dublin but gets his chance from the start at Stade Velodrome.

South Africa-born back-row Braam Steyn drops out of the squad after starting the 56-19 drubbing at the Aviva Stadium. 

The Azzurri and France have both lost their first two matches of the tournament.




Italy: Matteo Minozzi, Tommaso Benvenuti, Tommaso Boni, Tommaso Castello, Mattia Bellini, Tommaso Allan, Marcello Violi; Andrea Lovotti, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Simone Ferrari, Alessandro Zanni, Dean Budd, Sebastian Negri, Maxime Mbanda, Sergio Parisse.

Replacements: Luca Bigi, Nicola Quaglio, Tiziano Pasquali, George Fabio Biagi, Federico Ruzza, Edoardo Gori, Carlo Canna, Jayden Hayward.




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