Parisse returns to captain Italy
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENTS: The Italian veteran Sergio Parisse has been handed the captain’s armband for Italy’s second World Cup warm-up clash against Russia in San Benedetto del Tronto.
The Azzurri skipper did not feature in Saturday’s defeat to Ireland but returns to lead the side as one of 14 changes. He will win his 139th international cap, moving level with George Gregan for the third most caps. Only Brian O’Driscoll and Richie McCaw have won more.
Matteo Minozzi is the only player to keep his place, having been promoted to the starting line-up at the last minute in Dublin following Marco Zanon’s withdrawal.
In the back row, Parisse will be joined by Jake Polledri and Braam Steyn, while Dave Sisi and Federico Ruzza line up in the second row.
Luca Bigi gets the nod at hooker, with Tiziano Pasquali and Andrea Lovotti propping.
Meanwhile, in the backs, Minozzi starts on the wing, allowing Jayden Hayward to come in at full-back, with Mattia Bellini completing the back three.
Luca Morisi and Michele Campagnaro form an experienced midfield and Benetton pair Tito Tebaldi and Tommaso Allan will be the halfbacks.
Italy: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Matteo Minozzi, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Mattia Bellini, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Jake Polledri, 6 Braam Steyn, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 David Sisi, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Ferdico Zani, 17 Simone Ferrari, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Alessandro Zanni, 20 Sebastian Negri, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Edoardo Padovani.
Russia: 15 Vasily Artemyev (captain), 14 German Davydov, 13 Vladimir Ostroushko, 12 Dmitry Gerasimov, 11 Kirill Golosnitsky; 10 Ramil Gaysin, 9 Dmitry Perov; 8 Viktor Gresev, 7 Tagir Gadzhiev, 6 Andrey Ostrikov; 5 Andrey Garbuzov, 4 Nikita Vavilin; 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 Stanislay Selsky, 1 Valeri Morozov.
Replacements: 16 Evgeni Matveev, 17 Andrey Polivalov, 18 Vladimir Podrezov, 19 Bogdan Fedotko, 20 Vitaly Zhivatov, 21 Vasily Dorofeev, 22 Yuri Kushnarev, 23 Vladislav Sozonov
Date: Saturday, August 17
Venue: San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy
Kick-off: 18.45 ( 18.45 GMT, 19.45 Moscow time)
Referee: Karl Dickson (England)
Assistant referees: Ben Whitehouse (Wales), Sean Gallagher (Ireland)