Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | International Rugby

Italy coach focused on Tonga



Italy coach Jacques Brunel insisted he was not thinking about the formidable challenges of New Zealand and Australia as he named his team Thursday for the first of three November tests, against Tonga.

The Azzurri host the All Blacks at Rome's Olympic stadium on November 17 before hosting Australia in Florence on November 24.

But Brunel said the priority is for Italy to maintain the good form they have shown recently when they meet Tonga in Brescia on Saturday.

"We've been training with the best possible squad but we're not thinking about the two games we have coming up later" against New Zealand and Australia, Brunel said.

"Our goal is to get a head start in the November tests. We've won three of our last four games and our goal is to keep the momentum going.

"The only game I'm thinking about is Tonga, we're not thinking about what comes later."

Brunel appears to be keeping his best players for the tests against the All Blacks and Wallabies.

Among the Italy stalwarts, Mirco Bergamasco is injured while prop Martin Castrogiovanni will start from the bench. Both Andrea Masi and Sergio Parisse, however, will start on Saturday.

South African-born Tobias Botes comes in at scrum half after a mediocre Six Nations tournament which he exited with an elbow injury against Scotland.

Italy will be facing Tonga for the fourth time in the nations' history, with Italy leading the series 2-1.

Tonga beat an emerging Italy 28-25 in Leicester during the 1999 World Cup, however the Azzurri have since made amends with a 36-10 win in the 2003 World Cup and a 48-0 rout in Prato, Italy in 2005.

Benetton Treviso centre Andrea Pratichetti was named to the squad Thursday in place of the injured Gonzalo Canale but did not make the squad for the Tonga game.

ITALY TEAM

Andrea Masi, Tommaso Iannone, Tommaso Benvenuti, Alberto Sgarbi, Luke McLean, Kristopher Burton, Tobias Botes, Sergio Parisse (capt), Robert Barbieri, Alessandro Zanni, Joshua Furno, Quintin Geldenhuys, Lorenzo Cittadini, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Andrea Lo Cicero

Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Alberto De Marchi, Martin Castrogiovanni, Antonio Pavanello, Simone Favaro, Edoardo Gori, Luciano Orquera, Giovambattista Venditti

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...
R119.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Tony Johnson
Australian sideshow not good for rugby
Much as we like to beat each other, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and now Argentina need...

Gavin Rich
No choke for Province this time
With this being the week of a Newlands Currie Cup final, there is sure to be one question...

Alistair Hargreaves
Who's that kid at No 10 for the Boks?
I’m writing this column sitting on a London overground train as I make my way home from a long day...

Brendan Venter
Boks come of age
While the Springboks must be commended for ending their Rugby Championship campaign with...