Canavosio drafted in for Italy
March 18, 2010
Nick Mallett has made four changes © Getty Images
Italy coach Nick Mallett has made four changes as his side look to bounce back against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Mallett has reacted following the Azzurri's heavy loss at the hands of France, calling try-scorer Pablo Canavosio in at scrum-half. Canavosio replaces Tito Tebaldi after impressing from the bench at the Stade de France while the other change in the backline sees Kaine Robertson drafted onto the wing. Andrea Masi shifts from wing to outside-centre with Gonzalo Canale dropping to the bench.
In the pack, Mallett has called lock Carlo del Fava and flanker Paul Derbyshire in although both players will undergo fitness tests prior to the game after picking up knocks in training. Should they fail to prove their fitness Josh Sole will start at blindside and Marco Bortolami in the second-row.
Up front, Salvatore Perugini, Leonardo Ghiraldini and Martin Castrogiovanni will again pack down. Should Italy triumph they will equal their best Six Nations finish with two wins, which they last achieved in 2007 when Wales and Scotland were defeated.
Fly-half Craig Gower will not be underestimating Wales despite their poor form. The Bayonne pivot belives that Italy must first and foremost do the basics well.
"I do not think Wales are vulnerable," he said. "They will come out firing and it will be a big challenge for us. We have to do the basics right and see what comes. We are using the ball more than we used to. Ireland was a disappointing game for us in terms of moving the ball but we improved against England and Scotland and will be looking to create opportunities.
"We have changed from being a forward-based team; I do not want to give the ball away all the time but you have to be smart about the way you play and my job is to make it work, getting us in the right positions and playing a little bit. We are building as a team and we want to start getting results away from Rome."
Italy: L McLean (Benetton Treviso); K Robertson (Viadana), A Masi (Racing Metro), G Garcia (Benetton Treviso), M Bergamasco (Stade Francais); C Gower (Bayonne), P Canavosio (Viadana); S Perugini (Bayonne), L Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso), M Castrogiovanni (Leicester), C del Fava (Viadana)/M Bortolami (Gloucester), P Derbyshire (Padova)/J Sole (Viadana), M Bergamasco (Stade Francais), A Zanni (Benetton Treviso)
Replacements: M Aguero (Saracens), F Ongaro (Saracens), M Bortolami (Gloucester)/V Bernabo (Roma), J Sole (Viadana)/Manoa Vosawai (Parma), T Tebaldi (Gran Parma), R Bocchino (Rovigo), G Canale (Clermont Auvergne)
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers