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O’Shea changes three as Italy fine-tune for France

O’Shea changes three as Italy fine-tune for France

Full-back Jayden Hayward in action against France in this year's Guinness Six Nations (Inpho)

Conor O’Shea has made three changes to his Italy team for their penultimate World Cup warm-up clash against France on Friday night.

Last time out Italy racked up a dominant 85-15 win over Russia and O’Shea has opted for an identical backline and back row as a result.

Up front however, props Simone Ferrari and Marco Riccioni are handed the start this time while veteran Alessandro Zanni comes into the second row.

In what is starting to look like O’Shea’s first-choice back line, Jayden Hayward remains at full-back with Matteo Minozzi and Mattia Bellini on the wings.

Michele Campagnaro and Luca Morisi team up in midfield while Tito Tebaldi and Tommaso Allan continue their Guinness Six Nations half-back partnership.

Sergio Parisse captains Italy again from No.8 with Braam Steyn and Jake Polledri alongside him in the back row.

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Italy will be out for revenge against a France side who beat them in Rome in the final game of the 2019 Championship.

O’Shea said: “We want to continue from where we left off.

“The victory against Russia gave us some good points but it is in the past now. Our next objective is France.

“It will be a tough match and very interesting for a number of reasons. We want to show our true worth trying to take home a positive result to get ever closer to peak form with regards to the Rugby World Cup.”

Italy team to face France on Friday night in Paris:

15 Jayden HAYWARD (Benetton Rugby, 18 caps)
14 Mattia BELLINI (Zebre Rugby Club, 18 caps)
13 Michele CAMPAGNARO (Harlequins, 43 caps)
12 Luca MORISI (Benetton Rugby, 26 caps)
11 Matteo MINOZZI (Wasps, 12 caps)
10 Tommaso ALLAN (Benetton Rugby, 49 caps)
9 Tito TEBALDI (Benetton Rugby, 33 caps)

8 Sergio PARISSE (Tolone, 139 caps) (c)
7 Jake POLLEDRI (Gloucester, 9 caps)
6 Abraham STEYN (Benetton Rugby, 31 caps)
5 Federico RUZZA (Benetton Rugby, 13 caps)
4 Alessandro ZANNI (Benetton Rugby, 113 caps)
3 Marco RICCIONI (Benetton Rugby, 2 caps)
2 Luca BIGI (Zebre Rugby Club, 20 caps)
1 Simone FERRARI (Benetton Rugby, 24 caps)

Replacements:

16 Federico ZANI (Benetton Rugby 9 caps)
17 Andrea LOVOTTI (Zebre Rugby Club, 36 caps)
18 Tiziano PASQUALI (Benetton Rugby, 19 caps)
19 Dean BUDD (Benetton Rugby, 21 caps)
20 Sebastian NEGRI (Benetton Rugby, 18 caps)
21 Guglielmo PALAZZANI (Zebre Rugby Club, 32 caps)
22 Carlo CANNA (Zebre Rugby Club, 34 caps)
23 Tommaso BENVENUTI (Benetton Rugby, 57 caps)