Castrogiovanni returns for Italy
March 14, 2012
Martin Castrogiovanni was injured against England in round two of the Six Nations © Getty Images
Italy coach Jaques Brunel has made six changes to the squad that lost against Wales in Cardiff last weekend for their final Six Nations game against Scotland in Rome on Saturday.
The Italians go into the encounter at the Stadio Olimpico on the back of a 24-3 loss in Cardiff and, like the Scots, will be determined to avoid the 'wooden spoon'. Giovambattista Venditti replaces Luke McLean on the right wing while Tommaso Benvenuti will start at centre.
Benetton Treviso's Edoardo Gori replaces Fabio Semenzato at scrum-half while Simone Favaro drops to the bench with flanker Robert Barbieri taking his place in the starting XV. Aironi lock Marco Bortolami replaces Cornelius Van Zyl to earn his 93rd cap.
Leicester Tigers prop Martin Castrogiovanni has recovered from a fractured rib that saw him miss the last two games and will start this weekend. Australian-born lock Joshua Furno could make his Six Nations debut this weekend having been included in the squad. The 22-year-old made his Azzurri bow back in August.
Italy have won six of their 18 encounters against Scotland, who have not won in Rome since 2006.
Italy: A Masi (Aironi Rugby); G Venditti (Aironi Rugby), T Benvenuti (Benetton Treviso), G Canale (Clermont-Auvergne), Mirco Bergamasco (Racing-Metro Paris); 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), J Furno (Aironi Rugby), S Favaro (Aironi Rugby), M Vosawai (Benetton Treviso), T Botes (Benetton Treviso), G Toniolatti (Aironi Rugby), M Rizzo (Benetton Treviso), A Sgarbi (Benetton Treviso).
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
ESPN looks at the forthcoming season of the Guinness PRO12 and assesses how each of the 12 teams will do
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch