Italy change two for England Test
February 8, 2012
Marco Bortolami is back in the Italy side for their match with England © Getty Images
Italy have made two changes for their clash with England at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.
Aironi lock Marco Bortolami will earn his 90th cap with as he replaces Benetton Treviso's Cornelius Van Zyl at number five. Bortolami will partner club team-mate Quintin Geldenhuys, while Clermont-Auvergne centre Gonzalo Canale will start in place of Alberto Sgarbi, who has been omitted from the squad.
Coach Jacques Brunel has made three alterations to his bench. Benetton Treviso captain Antonio Pavanello could make his Six Nations debut this weekend while 20-year-old centre Luca Morisi has a chance to earn his first bow with Italy.
Also, veteran flanker Mauro Bergamasco has also been included in the 22-man squad after recovering from a shoulder injury that ruled him out of last year's tournament and of last weekend's 30-12 loss to France at the Stade de France.
Saturday's game will mark Italy's first-ever Six Nations game at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, with the venue expected to be sold out.
Italy team to face England:
A Masi (Aironi Rugby), G Venditti (Aironi Rugby), T Benvenuti (Benetton Treviso), G Canale (Clermont-Auvergne), L McLean (Benetton Treviso), K Burton (Benetton Treviso), E Gori (Benetton Treviso); A Lo Cicero (Racing-Metro Paris), L Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso), M Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers), Q Geldenhuys (Aironi Rugby), M Bortolami (Aironi Rugby), A Zanni (Benetton Treviso), R Barbieri (Benetton Treviso), S Parisse (Stade Francais)
Replacements: T D'Apice (Aironi Rugby), L Cittadini (Benetton Treviso), A Pavanello (Benetton Treviso), Mauro Bergamasco (Aironi Rugby), F Semenzato (Benetton Treviso), T Botes (Benetton Treviso), L Morisi (BancaMonte Parma Crociati).
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra