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Still no room for McKinley as Conor O'Shea names Italy team to face France

There are three changes from the side that lost to Ireland.

Leonardo Ghiraldini has returned as hooker for Italy.
Leonardo Ghiraldini has returned as hooker for Italy.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

ITALY BOSS CONOR O’Shea has again opted against including Ian McKinley in his match day 23 as they get set to take on France at the Stade Vélodrome on Friday [KO 8pm, TV3].

O’Shea has made three changes to the starting XV that lost to Ireland last time out, with veteran hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini restored to the front row with Andrea Lovotti while, in the back row, Maxime Mbanda will make his first start of this year’s Six Nations.

It’s a 92nd cap for Ghiraldini and he and Lovotti will scrum down alongside Simone Ferrari. The second row is, once again, made up of Alessandro Zanni and Dean Budd while Mbanda is joined in the back row by Sebastian Negri and captain Sergio Parisse at eight.

The back three is made up of Matteo Minozzi, Tommaso Benvenuti and Mattia Bellini while Tommaso Boni and Tommaso Castello retain their centre partnership.

Once more, Tomasso Allan and Marcello Violi make up the half backs.

Italy XV to play France

15. Matteo Minozzi
14. Tommaso Benvenuti
13. Tommaso Boni
12. Tomasso Castello
11. Mattia Bellini
10. Tomasso Allan
9. Marcello Violi

1. Andrea Lovotti
2. Leonardo Ghiraldini
3. Simone Ferrari
4. Alessandro Zanni
5. Dean Budd
6. Sebastian Negri
7. Maxime Mbanda
8. Sergio Parisse (captain)

Replacements:
16. Luca Bigi
17. Nicola Quaglio
18. Tiziano Pasquali
19. George Fabio Biagi
20. Federico Ruzza
21. Edoardo Gori
22. Carlo Canna
23. Jayden Hayward

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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