Rugby | Five changes for Italy in Brunel farewell

Rome – Italy coach Jacques Brunel has made five changes to his team to face Wales in their Six Nations finale in Cardiff on Saturday in what will be his last game in charge.

Brunel, who has been at the helm since 2011, is desperate to avoid a second wooden spoon of his tenure having seen his side lose to England, France, Scotland and suffer a 58-15 mauling by Ireland last time out.

In the front row, Martin Castrogiovanni returns to replace the injured Lorenzo Cittadini while locks Quintin Geldenhuys and Valerio Bernaboso come in for flu victim Marco Fuser and George Biagi who was injured in Dublin.

Fly-half Tommaso Allan replaces Eduardo Padovani while, at centre, Andrea Pratichetti takes over from injured Michele Campagnaro.

“Wales, like Ireland, can be very effective. We can’t afford to allow them too much time and space like we did in Dublin,” said Brunel.

Italy have suffered nine successive defeats against Wales, while last season’s Six Nations game between the countries saw Wales run out 61-20 winners in Rome.

Italy team to face Wales in the Six Nations in Cardiff on Saturday (1430GMT):


15 David Odiete; 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Andrea Pratichetti, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Leonardo Sarto; 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani; 8 Sergio Parisse (capt), 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Francesco Minto; 5 Valerio Bernabo, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys; 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Andrea Lovotti

Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Matteo Zanusso, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Jacopo Sarto, 20 Abraham Steyn, 21 Alberto Lucchese, 22 Kelly Haimona, 23 Luke McLean

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