Italy make ten changes for Canada clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Dean Budd will captain Italy when they take on Canada in their Pool B match in Fukuoka Hakatanomori on Thursday.
The 33-year-old second-row, who will be making his first start in a Rugby World Cup, stands in for Sergio Parisse, who will sit out the match.
New Zealand-born Budd, who plays for Benetton Treviso, previously took over the captaincy duties for the warm-up games against Ireland and England.
Announcing his team on Tuesday, coach Conor O’Shea made 10 changes to the starting XV that led the charge in the 47-22 triumph over Namibia in Italy’s Rugby World Cup 2019 opener. Only Jayden Hayward, Luca Bigi, Tommaso Allan, Tommaso Benvenuti and Braam Steyn also started against Namibia.
Callum Braley makes his first World Cup appearance. In 2014 he captained England U20s to the world title, but he qualifies for Italy thanks to an Italian grandfather. The Gloucester player was included in Italy’s 2019 Six Nations squad, but did not make his debut until August against Ireland in Dublin.
Braley and starting flankers Sebastian Negri and Jake Polledri played and studied at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, which provided their springboard to professional contracts.
The team features three tactical changes. Jayden Hayward moves from fullback to inside-centre, Tommaso Benvenuti shifts from outside-centre to wing and Braam Steyn shuffles round the back row from blindside flanker to number eight.
Callum Braley and Tommaso Allan have not previously started together at half-back, an area which has featured a number of different combinations over recent years for the Azzurri.
— Italrugby (@Federugby) September 24, 2019
Italy: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 Giulio Bisegni, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Braam Steyn, 7 Jake Polledri, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Dean Budd (captain), 4 David Sisi, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Federico Zani, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Federico Ruzza, 20 Maxime Mbanda, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Mattia Bellini.
Date: Thursday, September 26
Venue: Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka City
Kick-off: 16.45 (03.45 Eastern Canadian time; 07.45 GMT; 09.45 Italy time)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Karl Dickson (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)