O’Shea unveils Italy team to face Ireland
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Conor O’Shea has announced his Italy team to face Ireland in the Six Nations in Rome on Sunday.
The Italy head coach has made five changes to the team that lost 15-26 to Wales two weeks ago.
Scrumhalf Tito Tebaldi, who picked up a knock before Italy’s opener with Scotland, returns to the side in place of Guglielmo Palazzani.
Edoardo Padovani, a try scorer against Scotland and Wales, is on the wing.
With Sergio Parisse out because of concussion after picking up a knock while playing for Stade Francais last weekend, Benetton’s Abraham Jurgens Steyn moves across from flank to slot in at No.8.
Maxime Mbanda returns at flank, making his first Italy appearance since playing Wales in Cardiff last year. His Zebre teammate Jimmy Tuivaiti takes the place of Sebastian Negri.
In the second row it’s an all-Benetton affair with Federico Ruzza alongside Dean Budd, with David Sisi dropping to the bench.
Hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini takes the captain’s armband for the 17th time, he set to pick up his 102nd cap. Alongside him in the front row is Simone Ferrari, while Andrea Lovotti returns after recovering from the flu replacing Nicola Quaglio.
— Italrugby (@Federugby) February 22, 2019
Italy: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Edoardo Padovani, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Braam Steyn, 7 Maxime Mbanda, 6 Jimmy Tuivaiti, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Federico Ruzza, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (captain), 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 David Sisi, 20 Alessandro Zanni, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Tommasso Castello.
Date: Sunday, February 24
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick-off: 16.00 (15.00 UK & Ireland time; 15.00 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Karl Dickson (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)