11 Nov 2016

Italy mix youth and experience for All Blacks clash

5:41 am on 11 November 2016

Italy will rely on a blend youth and experience when they face New Zealand in Rome on Saturday in new coach Conor O'Shea's first test on home soil.

Italy rugby captain Sergio Parisse

Italy rugby captain Sergio Parisse Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Scrum-half Giorgio Bronzini will make his international debut in an untested half-back pairing with Carlo Canna, who has 12 caps, against an All Blacks side looking to get back on track after a shock 40-29 defeat by Ireland in Chicago last weekend.

Irishman O'Shea, who is gunning to emulate his compatriots' success against a team Italy has not beaten in 14 meetings, has handed skipper Sergio Parisse a record 120th cap in the back row.

Veteran hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini also comes into the side, with Australian-born Luke McLean at inside centre.

Fullback Edoardo Padovani is at the heart of a back three that has 12 international caps between them, along with wings Giulio Bisegni and Angelo Esposito.


15-Edoardo Padovani, 14-Giulio Bisegni, 13-Tommaso Benvenuti, 12-Luke Mclean, 11-Angelo Esposito, 10-Carlo Canna, 9-Giorgio Bronzini, 8-Sergio Parisse, 7-Simone Favaro, 6-Maxime Mbanda, 5-Andries Van Schalkwyk, 4-Marco Fuser, 3-Lorenzo Cittadini, 2-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1-Andrea Lovotti

Replacements: 16-Ornel Gega, 17-Sami Panico, 18-Pietro Ceccarelli, 19-George Biagi, 20-Francesco Minto, 21-Edoardo Gori, 22-Tommaso Allan, 23-Tommaso Boni