/ Six Nations 2014

Jacques Brunel shuffles deck for Italy's clash with France

Updated: Friday, 07 Feb 2014 16:22 | Comments

Italian captain Sergio Parisse will equal Andrea Lo Cicero as Italy's most capped player when he earns his 103rd cap
Italian captain Sergio Parisse will equal Andrea Lo Cicero as Italy's most capped player when he earns his 103rd cap

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Italy coach Jacques Brunel has made five changes to the starting XV that lost against Wales last weekend for their RBS 6 Nations game against France in Paris on Sunday.

The Italians go into the encounter at the Stade de France on the back of a 23-15 loss in Cardiff in their tournament opener.

Zebre's Tommaso Iannoni will replace Angelo Esposito at right wing and will earn his first Six Nations start against France.

Zebre centre Gonzalo Garcia returns to the Azzurri line-up after an eight-month absence and will start in place of Alberto Sgarbi, who has been omitted from the squad.

Biarritz lock Joshua Furno takes Marco Bortolami's place in Italy's second line while Michele Rizzo is relegated to the bench with Benetton Treviso team-mate Alberto De Marchi taking his spot.

Treviso flanker Francesco Minto replaces Alessandro Zanni, who fractured his nose against Wales and will be on the bench.

Azzurri captain Sergio Parisse will equal Andrea Lo Cicero as Italy's most capped player when he earns his 103rd cap this weekend.

The Azzurri, who beat France 23-18 last year in Rome, have never won against Les Bleus on French soil in the competition.

Italy team v France, Stade de France, Sunday 9 February 3pm Irish time: L McLean; T Iannone, M Campagnaro, G Garcia, L Sarto; T Allan, E Gori; A De Marchi, L Ghiraldini, M Castrogiovanni; Q Geldenhuys, J Furno; M Bergamasco, F Minto, S Parisse (Capt).

Replacements: D Giazzon, M Rizzo, L Cittadini, M Bortolami, A Zanni, TW Botes, L Orquera, A Esposito.

Live television coverage of Ireland v Wales and Scotland v England from 13:30 on Saturday 8 February, and France v Italy from 14:30 on Sunday 9 February on RTÉ Two and RTE.ie (Ireland only). Live radio coverage on Saturday Sport (14:00) and Sunday Sport (14:00) on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).

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