Italy make two changes for Bok clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Buoyant Italy have made two changes to their starting line-up for their clash with South Africa in Genoa, with prop Pietro Ceccarelli and hooker Giacomo Nicotera coming into the front row.
Italy’s Kiwi coach Kieran Crowley has otherwise resisted changes from the side that stunned Australia with a 28-27 win in Florence last weekend.
The Springboks have narrowly lost both their November games against Ireland and France.
Livewire fullback Ange Capuozzo will again be a key weapon as part of a back three that also includes wings Pierre Bruno and Melbourne-born Monty Ioane, while the centre pairing will be Luca Morisi and Juan Ignacio Brex.
Ceccarelli and Nicotera beef-up a front row that also has prop Danilo Fischetti and is expected to come under huge pressure from the powerful Bok pack.
Niccolo Cannone and Federico Ruzza are at lock, while No.8 Lorenzo Cannone packs down with flankers Sebastian Negri and captain Michele Lamaro.
Tommaso Allan holds onto the No.10 jersey after he was a late replacement for Paolo Garbisi ahead of the match against the Wallabies.
Garbisi suffered a knock to his right hip in the win over Samoa earlier this month
“We achieved a historic result against Australia, but we are not satisfied,” Crowley said.
“The following day the focus was immediately shifted to South Africa.
“It will be a very intense match from a physical point of view. We have studied our opponents and prepared ourselves in the best possible way.”
Italy have enjoyed previous success against the Boks, beating them 20-18 in November clash in 2016.
Italy: 15 Ange Capuozzo, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Luca Morisi, 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 Giacomo Nicotera, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Ivan Nemer, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 David Sisi, 20 Manuel Zuliani, 21 Alessandro Garbisi, 22 Edoardo Padovani, 23 Tommaso Menoncello.
Date: Saturday, November 19
Venue: Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa
Kick-off: 14.00 (15.00 SA time; 13.00 GMT)
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)
— Italrugby (@Federugby) November 17, 2022