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

Rugby | Six Nations

Botes, McLean among changes for Italy



South Africa-born Tobias Botes will start at scrumhalf as part of three changes for Italy's Six Nations championship opener against France on Sunday.

Compared to the defeat by Australia in November in their last match, Botes comes in for Edoardo Gori who is on the bench while Luke McLean replaces the injured Mirco Bergamasco on the wing.

Flanker Simone Favaro is the final change, taking the place of Robert Barbieri, as he looks forward to his first start at the 80 000-seat Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Botes, who has eight caps, will pair up with flyhalf Luciano Orquera after coach Jacques Brunel - a Frenchman - resisted the temptation to bring in Kristopher Burton with place kicker Bergamasco out.

Orquera has long struggled to keep his place in Azzurri colours with lengthy spells out of the team but the lack of strength in depth among Italy's ranks means he has another chance to impress and make his 30th appearance.

Talisman Martin Castrogiovanni and captain Sergio Parisse are fully fit to start as Italy look to start their campaign with a bang and shock the French like they did at home in 2011.

ITALY: 15-Andrea Masi, 14-Giovanbattista Venditti, 13-Tommaso Benvenuti, 12-Alberto Sgarbi, 11-Luke McLean, 10-Luciano Orquera, 9-Tobias Botes, 8-Sergio Parisse (captain), 7-Simone Favaro, 6-Alessandro Zanni, 5-Francesco Minto, 4-Quintin Geldenhuys, 3-Martin Castrogiovanni, 2-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1-Andrea Lo Cicero

Replacements: 16-Davide Giazzon, 17-Alberto De Marchi, 18-Lorenzo Cittadini, 19-Antonio Pavanello, 20-Paul Derbyshire, 21-Edoardo Gori, 22-Kristopher Burton, 23-Gonzalo Canale

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

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Kyle Brown
Fans, fun and Sevens success
The week leading up to the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens was a special one. The fans were passionate,...

Brendan Venter
Boks must think outside the box
Springbok supporters have every right to feel disenchanted after an underwhelming end-of-year tour.

Tony Johnson
Boks and Wallabies burnt in final outings
Playing the last test of the year in the last week of November has again proven to be a stumbling...

Gavin Rich
Boks learned quite a lot actually
When SuperSport returned from the Millennium Stadium to the studio discussion, it was mentioned...