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Italy name team for France

By Online Editors
Italy players sing the national anthem prior to the Guinness Six Nations match against England at Twickenham last March (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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Conor O’Shea has made five changes to his Italy side as they bid to avoid yet another Six Nations wooden spoon.


The Azzurri are on a 20-match losing streak in the tournament and have opted to change a third of the team beaten in last Saturday’s round four game by England.

O’Shea’s only tweak in the back line to face struggling France is in midfield where he has handed Benetton centre Marco Zanon his debut alonside club-mate Luca Morisi.

However, he has rung the changes up front, altering half of those who started at Twickenham.

Jake Polledri returns to the starting line-up in the back row, David Sisi is back in the second row for the injured Dean Budd, while Tiziano Pasquali and Leonardo Ghiraldini also return to the front row.

(Continue reading below…)

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“We will play against a very strong team, as always happens in the Six Nations,” said O’Shea.


“Our focus will be on ourselves trying to play our best rugby. We want to close the tournament with a great performance at the Stadio Olimpico.”

ITALY TEAM (v France)
15 Jayden HAYWARD (Benetton Rugby, 16 caps)
14 Edoardo PADOVANI (Zebre Rugby Club, 19 caps)
13 Marco ZANON (Benetton Rugby, newcomer)
12 Luca MORISI (Benetton Rugby, 24 caps)
11 Angelo ESPOSITO (Benetton Rugby, 19 caps)
10 Tommaso ALLAN (Benetton Rugby, 47 caps)
9 Tito TEBALDI (Benetton Rugby, 31 caps)
8 Sergio PARISSE (Stade Francais, 137 caps) – captain
7 Jake POLLEDRI (Gloucester Rugby, 7 caps)
6 Abraham Jurgens STEYN (Benetton Rugby, 29 caps)
5 Federico RUZZA (Benetton Rugby, 11 caps)
4 David SISI (Zebre Rugby Club, 4 caps)
3 Tiziano PASQUALI (Benetton Rugby, 17 caps)
2 Leonardo GHIRALDINI (Stade Toulousian, 103 caps)
1 Andrea LOVOTTI (Zebre Rugby Club, 33 caps)
16 Luca BIGI (Benetton Rugby, 18 caps)
17 Cherif TRAORE (Benetton Rugby, 9 caps)
18 Simone FERRARI (Benetton Rugby, 21 caps)
19 Alessandro ZANNI (Benetton Rugby, 110 caps)
20 Sebastian NEGRI (Benetton Rugby, 15 caps)
21 Guglielmo PALAZZANI (Zebre Rugby Club, 31 caps)
22 Ian MCKINLEY (Benetton Rugby, 8 caps)
23 Luca SPERANDIO (Benetton Rugby, 6 caps)

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