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Italy revamp their front row in search of second win over Springboks

By AAP
Stephen Varney of Italy passes the ball. Photo by Timothy Rogers/Getty Images

Italy have set their sights on now beating the world champions South Africa, making two changes from the side that earned their historic win over Australia.

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Italy have made two changes to the team to face South Africa following the historic victory over Australia.

Prop Pietro Ceccarelli and hooker Giacomo Nicotera will line up alongside Danilo Fischetti in a revamped front row for Saturday’s Test in Genoa.

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Italy recorded a first win over the Wallabies last weekend by 28-27 in Florence.

“We’re not going to sit back on that,” Italy coach Kieran Crowley said on Thursday.

“The very next day the focus switched to South Africa. It will be an intense match physically.

“We have studied our opponents and prepared as best as we can for our task. We will continue on this path, showing that we can be competitive in every match.”

Italy beat South Africa in Florence in 2018 for their only success over the Springboks in 15 attempts.

South Africa have suffered narrow losses on their European tour so far, against Ireland and France.

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Italy team:
Ange Capuozzo, Pierre Bruno, Juan Ignacio Brex, Luca Morisi, Montanna Ioane, Tommaso Allan, Stephen Varney; Lorenzo Cannone, Michele Lamaro (capt), Sebastian Negri, Federico Ruzza, Niccolo Cannone, Pietro Ceccarelli, Giacomo Nicotera, Danilo Fisichetti. Replacements: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Ivan Nemer, Simone Ferrari, David Sisi, Manuel Zuliani, Alessandro Garbisi, Edoardo Padovani, Tommaso Menoncello.

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Flankly 3 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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