Italy opt for consistency against All Blacks
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Italy head coach Conor O’Shea has made just one change to Italy starting XV that will face New Zealand in Rome.
The change comes in the backline with Benetton Rugby wing Luca Sperandio replacing the injured Mattia Bellini, scorer of Italy’s only try in defeat to Australia last time out.
Sperandio, 22, started the victory over Georgia a fortnight ago and now comes onto the wing in an all-Benetton back three featuring Jayden Hayward and Tommaso Benvenuti.
Tito Tebaldi and Tommaso Allan continue as the half-back pairing while Leonardo Ghiraldini will lead the side once again.
And ahead of the clash with the All Blacks, beaten by Ireland a week ago in Dublin, Conor O’Shea is well-aware of the task awaiting his team.
He said: “We’re expecting a big challenge against the current world champions. We need to have the same approach on the field we had against Australia.
“We want to end the November Tests on a good performance, playing our best rugby.”
There is also one change to the Italian bench, with Edoardo Padovani stepping in for Carlo Canna
Italy: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Tommaso Castello, 11 Luca Sperandio, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Braam Steyn, 7 Jake Polledri, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (captain), 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Cherif Traoré, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Johan Meyer, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Edoardo Padovani
Date: Saturday, November 24
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick-off: 15.00 (14.00 GMT; 03.00 NZ time Sunday, November 25)
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gaüzère (France), Sean Gallagher (Ireland)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)
🔵 #ITAvNZL Il CT Conor O’Shea, ha ufficializzato la formazione che scenderà in campo sabato per affrontare gli All Blacks
➡ Rispetto al XV schierato contro l’Australia, l’unico cambio è all’ala con Luca Sperandio al posto di Mattia Bellini#CattolicaTestMatch #insieme pic.twitter.com/VWet3yMhJG
— Italrugby (@Federugby) November 22, 2018