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Conor O'Shea retains 10 of side that beat Springboks for Italy's Six Nations opener

The Italian’s host Wales this weekend.

O'Shea is preparing for his first Six Nations campaign in charge.
O'Shea is preparing for his first Six Nations campaign in charge.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

EDOARDO GORI WILL form a half-back partnership with Carlo Canna as new-look Italy look to cause the first big upset of the Six Nations with a win over Wales in Rome on Sunday.

Overall, Italy coach Conor O’Shea made five changes, mostly in the pack, from the side that scored an historic upset over South Africa last November as he named his starting XV for Sunday’s clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

While Gori replaces Giorgio Bronzini at fly-half, Maxime Mata M’Banda will claim only his fourth cap for the Azzurri when he comes in for Simone Favaro in the back row to make his debut in the Six Nations. Favaro is not named in the matchday squad.

Indeed, captain Sergio Parisse, claiming his 122nd cap for Italy, will marshall a completely new back row with Abraham Steyn replacing Treviso’s Francesco Minto, who drops to the bench.

In the second row George Biagi replaces Andries Van Schalkwyk while prop Andrea Lovotti replaces Sami Panico, who also drops to the bench.

Italy:

15. Edoardo Padovani
14. Giulio Bisegni
13. Tommaso Benvenuti
12. Luke McLean
11. Giovanbattista Venditti
10. Carlo Canna
9. Edoardo Gori

8. Sergio Parisse (capt)
7. Maxime Mata M’Banda
6. Abraham Steyn
5. George Biagi
4. Marco Fuser
3. Lorenzo Cittadini
2. Ornel Gega
1. Andrea Lovotti

Replacements:

16. Leonardo Ghiraldini
17. Sami Panico
18. Pietro Ceccarelli,
19. Joshua Furno
20. Francesco Minto
21. Giorgio Bronzini
22. Tommaso Allan
23. Michele Campagnaro.

© – AFP 2017

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