/ Six Nations 2014

Sergio Parisse ruled out of Italy's clash with Ireland

Updated: Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 18:15 | Comments

Sergio Parisse's absence will be seen as a massive boost for Ireland
Sergio Parisse's absence will be seen as a massive boost for Ireland

By Padraic Ryan and Tadhg Peavoy

Italy captain Sergio Parisse has been ruled out of his side's clash with Ireland at Aviva Stadium in the RBS 6 Nations.

Parisse has suffered a calf injury, and Italy head coach Jacques Brunel has decided it is best to rest the number eight, with the hope of him returning for the Azzurri's clash with England next weekend.

Parisse's ommission is one of four changes to the starting XV, with flanker Alessandro Zanni also missing out due to injury.

At halfback, Tito Tebaldi and Luciano Orquera come in at nine and ten respectively, with Edoardo Gori and Tommaso Allan dropping to the bench.

Zanni misses out on selection due to a knee injury; he is ruled out for four to six weeks and will miss the remainder of the championship.

With flankers Mauro Bergamasco and Francesco Minto also ruled out due to injury, second row Joshua Furno moves to blindside flanker, replacing Zanni.

Robert Barbieri moves to number eight from openside flanker and Paul Derbyshire comes into the XV at openside.

Marco Bortolami slots into the second row in place of Furno and will captain the side in Parisse's absence.

Italy’s half-back pairing is also changed, Luciano Orquera and Tito Tebaldi replacing Tommaso Allan and Edoardo Gori. The latter two drop to the bench in a tactical change from the Italian management.

On the bench, Michele Rizzo comes in for Matias Aguero as replacement prop after serving a three-week suspension for head-butting an opponent. 

Antonio Pavanello comes in as cover in the second row, with Manoa Vosawai the back row cover in the 23.

Andrea Masi replaces Tommaso Iannone as cover for the back three.

The Azzurri have not beaten Ireland in Dublin since a 37-29 victory in January 1997.

Italy team to play Ireland: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 1 Alberto De Marchi, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys,  5 Marco Bortolami, 6 Joshua Furno, 7 Paul Derbyshire, 8 Robert Barbieri.

Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Andrea Masi.

Live television coverage of the RBS 6 Nations from 13:30 on Saturday 8 March (Ireland v Italy and Scotland v France) and 14:30 on Sunday 9 March (England v Wales) on RTÉ Two and RTE.ie (Ireland only). Live radio coverage of Ireland v Italy on Saturday Sport (14:00) on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).

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