Mallett overhauls Italy side
November 19, 2009
Matteo Pratichetti returns to the Italy side © Getty Images
Italy coach Nick Mallett has wielded the axe ahead of his side's meeting with South Africa in Udine on Saturday, with Mauro Bergamasco, Tito Tebaldi, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Kaine Robertson and Gonzalo Canale all dropping out of the starting XV.
In the backs, Alberto Sgarbi joins Gonzalo Garcia in the centre, while Simon Picone slots in at scrum-half alongside Craig Gower.
The third change comes on the wing, where Matteo Pratichetti starts in place of Robertson, who drops out of the 22. In the pack, experienced Saracens hooker Fabio Ongaro gets the nod ahead of Ghiraldini and there is a shake-up in the back-row.
Talismanic skipper Sergio Parisse starts at No.8 but Alessandro Zanni shifts from the blindside to the openside berth vacated by Bergamasco. The blindside spot is filled by Simone Favaro.
Italy: Luke McLean, Matteo Pratichetti, Alberto Sgarbi, Gonzalo Garcia, Mirco Bergamasco, Craig Gower, Simon Picone; Salvatore Perugini, Fabio Ongaro , Martin Castrogiovanni, Carlo Antonio Del Fava , Quintin Geldenhuys , Simone Favaro, Alessandro Zanni , Sergio Parisse (capt),
Replacements: Leonardo Ghiraldini, Ignacio Rouyet, Antonio Pavanello, Josh Sole, Mauro Bergamasco, Tito Tebaldi, Gonzalo Canale
Concussion, relegation and the mother of all surprises - it's the Monday Maul.