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Return of Tebaldi among five changes in Italy team to face Ireland

Conor O’Shea’s side host the defending Six Nations champions in Rome on Sunday afternoon.

Tito Tebaldi is back for Italy.
Tito Tebaldi is back for Italy.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

HEAD COACH CONOR O’Shea has made five adjustments to the Italy side that will start against Ireland in Sunday afternoon’s Six Nations fixture at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico [KO 3pm Irish time, Virgin Media One].

Benetton scrum-half Tito Tebaldi has been passed fit to feature for the first time in this year’s championship, so he’ll start at half-back alongside clubmate Tommaso Allan.

The four other changes are in the pack, from which captain Sergio Parisse will be absent after picking up a concussion while on duty with Stade Francais last weekend.

Flanker Sebastian Negri has also been ruled out due to illness, so Maxime Mbandà and Jimmy Tuivaiti are drafted into the back row, with Braam Steyn moving across to take Parisse’s number eight shirt.

Federico Ruzza comes into the second row at the expense of David Sisi, while Andrea Lovotti has recovered from the flu to start at loosehead prop instead of Nicola Quaglio.

Toulouse hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini has been handed the skipper’s armband.

Italy (v Ireland):

15. Jayden Hayward (Benetton)
14. Edoardo Padovani (Zebre)
13. Michele Campagnaro (Wasps)
12. Luca Morisi (Benetton)
11. Angelo Esposito (Benetton)
10. Tommaso Allan (Benetton)
9. Tito Tebaldi (Benetton)

1. Andrea Lovotti (Zebre)
2. Leonardo Ghiraldini (Toulouse — captain)
3. Simone Ferrari (Benetton)
4. Federico Ruzza (Benetton)
5. Dean Budd (Benetton)
6. Jimmy Tuivaiti (Zebre)
7. Maxime Mbandà (Zebre)
8. Braam Steyn (Benetton)


16. Luca Bigi (Benetton)
17. Cherif Traoré (Benetton)
18. Tiziano Pasquali (Benetton)
19. David Sisi (Zebre)
20. Alessandro Zanni (Benetton)
21. Guglielmo Palazzani (Zebre)
22. Ian McKinley (Benetton)
23. Tommaso Castello (Zebre)

Murray Kinsella, Andy Dunne and Gavan Casey look ahead to Ireland’s Six Nations meeting with Italy and discuss the week’s biggest stories in the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Paul Dollery

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