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Rugby | Six Nations

Retiring Ongaro replaces Ghiraldini for Italy

Italy hooker Fabio Ongaro will retire from international rugby after Saturday's final Six Nations championship match against Scotland in Rome.

The 34-year-old, who has 80 caps, was drafted into the team on Friday for the wooden-spoon game after Leonardo Ghiraldini failed to shake off a foot injury.

"It has been a magnificent adventure and I will always have marvellous memories of all the moments I have worn the blue jersey," Ongaro said in a statement.

Ongaro, caoch Jacques Brunel and the rest of the Azzurri are desperate to avoid finishing bottom of the five-team table for yet another year with no points.

Captain Sergio Parisse hinted that edging out Scotland, who have also failed to win this year, was more difficult than usual given the recent performances of Andy Robinson's side.

"No one says it but Scotland are a great team who like us deserved to beat England this year and who in the course of the tournament have played good rugby," Parisse told a news conference at the Stadio Olimpico.

"For all the players and staff it is important to win. For us it is even more important because we will feel the pressure of playing in front of our home crowd."

ITALY: 15-Andrea Masi, 14-Giovambattista Venditti, 13-Tommaso Benvenuti, 12-Gonzalo Canale, 11-Mirco Bergamasco, 10-Kristopher Burton, 9-Edoardo Gori, 8-Sergio Parisse (capt), 7-Robert Barbieri, 6-Alessandro Zanni, 5-Marco Bortolami, 4-Quintin Geldenhuys, 3-Martin Castrogiovanni, 2-Fabio Ongaro, 1-Andrea Lo Cicero

Replacements: 16-Tommaso D'Apice, 17-Lorenzo Cittadini, 18-Joshua Furno, 19-Simone Favaro, 20-Manoa Vosawai, 21-Tobias Botes, 22-Giulio Toniolatti.


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