It is all change for the Azzurri
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Conor O’Shea has made 11 changes to his Italy team to face England this Friday in Newcastle following last weekend’s loss to France in Paris.
Fullback Jayden Hayward will link up with Mattia Bellini and Edoardo Padovani in the back three, the midfield consists of Tommaso Benvenuti and Giulio Bisegni, while at half-back there is a first Test start for Gloucester’s Callum Braley who will partner Carlo Canna.
In the forwards, Braam Steyn keeps his place and will be joined by Jimmy Tuivaiti at No.8 and Sebastian Negri. The second row is a combination of David Sisi and Dean Budd, who is captaining the team for the second time this summer after leading the charge in the August match versus Ireland.
The front row consists of Simone Ferrari, Oliviero Fabiani and Nicola Quaglio, while the bench has a split of six forwards and just two backs, Guglielmo Palazzani and Tommaso Allan.
“We will face one of the strongest teams in the world in a match that represents a new step in our preparation towards the World Cup,” said O’Shea after announcing his side.
“We will have a new opportunity to assess the players’ level of fitness in order to figure out later how to continue the path towards the first World Cup game against Namibia.”
Italy: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Benvenuti, 11 Edoardo Padovani, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Jimmy Tuivaiti, 7 Abraham Steyn, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Dean Budd (captain), 4 David Sisi, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Nicola Quaglio.
Replacements: 16 Federico Zani, 17 Andrea Lovotti, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Federico Ruzza, 20 Alessandro Zanni, 21 Maxime Mbanda, 22 Guglielmo Palazzani, 23 Tommaso Allan.
Date: Friday, September 6
Venue: James’ Park, Newcastle
Kick-off: 19.45 (20.45 Italy time; 18.45 GMT)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Frank Murphy (Ireland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)
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