Italy makes 4 changes for South Africa after All Blacks loss

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Italy coach Conor O'Shea said yes­ter­day he has made four changes to the team that lost to New Zealand for Satur­day's test against South Africa in Florence.

Benet­ton Tre­viso hooker Or­nel Gega will re­place the in­jured Leonardo Ghi­ral­dini after the Le­ices­ter Tigers player was forced off dur­ing Satur­day's 68-10 de­feat in Rome with a foot in­jury.

Ze­bre prop An­drea Lovotti has also re­turned to his club with a rib in­jury, and he has been re­placed by Sami Pan­ico, who will be mak­ing his first start for Italy after four ap­pear­ances as a re­place­ment.

Ze­bre winger Gio­van­bat­tista Ven­ditti and Benet­ton Tre­viso flanker Francesco Minto will re­place An­gelo Es­pos­ito and Maxime Mbanda.

"I think the team that played against the All Blacks de­serve an­other op­por­tu­nity," O'Shea said. "I like to work with a team at the start of the week for the whole week, (and) we have a cou­ple of in­juries such as Maxime Mbanda and An­gelo Es­pos­ito. (They're) not se­ri­ous but they can't play from the start. It's men­tally im­por­tant to know our 15 for South Africa."

The Italy re­place­ments will be named after Thurs­day's train­ing ses­sion to al­low some play­ers time to shake off slight in­jury wor­ries.

Italy has lost all 12 of its pre­vi­ous matches it has played against South Africa.

O’Shea is a for­mer rugby union player who played at full back and oc­ca­sion­ally at out-half and cen­tre for Ire­land, Lans­downe and Lon­don Ir­ish.

Italy: Edoardo Padovani, Gi­ulio Bisegni, Tom­maso Ben­venuti, Luke McLean, Gio­van­bat­tista Ven­ditti, Carlo Canna, Gior­gio Bronzini; Ser­gio Parisse (cap­tain), Simone Favaro, Francesco Minto, An­dries van Schalk­wyk, Marco Fuser, Lorenzo Cit­ta­dini, Or­nel Gega, Sami Pan­ico.

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