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Italy shuffle their playmakers for France showdown

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Tommaso Allan returns to flyhalf as Italy coach Kieran Crowley reverted to two midfield playmakers in his team announced on Wednesday to play France at the World Cup.

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Paolo Garbisi switches back to inside centre having started in the No.10 jersey during last week’s humiliating 17-96 capitulation against New Zealand.

Ange Capuozzo takes over at fullback with Pierre Bruno coming into the side on the right wing as veteran centre Luca Morisi drops to the bench in the only personnel change in the backline.

Crowley has picked an entirely new front row with New Zealand-born Hame Faiva the new hooker in place of the injured Giacomo Nicotera.

Pietro Ceccarelli comes in at tighthead with Marco Riccioni dropping to the bench.

Simone Ferrari is preferred at loosehead to Danilo Fischetti as one of four changes in the pack.

Niccolo Cannone replaces the injured Dino Lamb in the second row.

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Despite the thrashing by the All Blacks, Italy can still reach the quarterfinals for the first time in their history if they beat the hosts.

However, the Italians have managed that only three times in 47 meetings with the French, the last time at a Six Nations match in February 2013, in Rome.

Italy: 15 Ange Capuozzo, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Paolo Garbisi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7 Michele Lamaro (captain), 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Hame Faiva, 1 Simone Ferrari.
Replacements: 16 Marco Manfredi, 17 Federico Zani, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 David Sisi, 20 Manuel Zuliani, 21 Alessandro Fusco, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Lorenzo Pani.

Date: Friday, October 6
Venue: OL Stadium, Lyon
Kick-off: 21.00 (19.00 GMT; 21.00 CEST)
Referee: Karl Dickson (England)
Assistant Referees: Luke Pearce (England), Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

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