Ireland retain same 22 for Italy
February 23, 2012
Jonathan Sexton has recovered from a thigh injury to face Italy on Saturday © PA Photos
Ireland have stuck with the same team for their Six Nations clash with Italy.
Declan Kidney has named the same 22 that was due to play France in Paris the weekend before last. Jonathan Sexton has made a full recovery from the thigh muscle injury sustained before the postponed match against France and starts at fly-half.
Italy boss Jacques Brunel has opted to make four changes for their trip to Ireland with Alberto Sgarbi, Michele Rizzo, Lorenzo Cittadini and fly-half Tobias Botes all coming in.
South African-born Botes replaces Kristopher Burton at fly-half. Burton drops to the bench where he is joined by Gonzalo Canale with Sgarbi stepping into the centres. Cittadini comes into the side for the injured Martin Castrogiovanni with Rizzo starting instead of Andrea Lo Cicero.
Ireland: Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls, Gordon D'Arcy, Andrew Trimble, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross, Donnacha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell (c), Stephen Ferris, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Tom Court, Donnacha Ryan, Peter O'Mahony, Eoin Reddan, Ronan O'Gara, Fergus McFadden
Italy: Andrea Masi, Giovanbattista Vendetti, Tommaso Benvenuti, Alberto Sgarbi, Luke McLean, Tobias Botes, Edoardo Gori, Michele Rizzo, Leonard Ghiraldini, Lorenzo Cittadini, Quintin Geldenhuys, Marco Bortolami, Alessandro Zanni, Robert Barbieri, Sergio Parisse (c)
Replacements: Tommaso D'Apice, Fabio Staibano, Antonio Pavanello, Simone Favaro, Fabio Semenzato, Kristopher Burton, Gonzalo Canale
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.