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What are the teams for Italy v Samoa

What are the teams for Italy v Samoa

Michele Lamaro Italy

An intriguing Autumn Nations Series battle is on the cards as Italy take on Samoa for the first time in eight years.

This will be the eighth meeting between the sides, with Samoa winning five of the seven, the latest a 15-0 victory at Apia Park in the summer of 2014.

But the most recent clash ended in favour of the Italians, running out 24-13 winners in November 2014 thanks to tries from Simone Favaro and Sergio Parisse.

The drama kicks off at 1pm on Saturday in Padua with Englishman Christophe Ridley the man in the middle of it all.

Cannone in for his debut and Varney returns at scrum-half

Kieran Crowley has handed Benetton forward Lorenzo Cannone his international debut at No.8, with Stephen Varney and Paolo Garbisi the half-back pairing.

Cannone, the 21-year-old younger brother of replacement Niccolò, started all three of Benetton’s wins in the United Rugby Championship this season.

Meanwhile Varney makes his first start for Italy since the Guinness Six Nations, one of nine changes to the team that lost to Georgia in the summer.

Harlequins’ Tommaso Allan is shifted to full-back alongside Pierre Bruno and Montanna Ioane in the back three, with Ange Capuozzo ruled out through injury.

The only other surviving back from the Georgia defeat is outside centre Juan Ignacio Brex, while there are starts for Manuel Zuliani, Federico Ruzza, David Sisi and Giacomo Nicotera in the pack.

Michele Lamaro will captain the side from the back row where he will pack down with Zuliani and Cannone.

Among the replacements is 27-year-old centre Enrico Lucchin who could make his international debut on Saturday.

Alainu’uese and Toomaga-Allen set for Manu Samoa Test debuts

Toulon lock Brian Alainu’uese and ex-All Black tighthead Jeffery Toomaga-Allen are included in Seilala Mapusua’s matchday squad.

Both forwards were born in New Zealand, and while starting lock Alainu’uese is yet to make his international bow, replacement Toomaga-Allen has made three appearances for New Zealand.

The Ulster prop’s only Test cap came in November 2013 against Japan and he had to wait four years to appear for the side again, playing against the Barbarians and in a 28-23 victory over a France XV in 2017. Having not played for the All Blacks in more than three years, Toomaga-Allen is now eligible to play for Samoa.

Starting at tighthead is captain Michael Ala’alatoa, whose brother Allan will miss Australia’s clash with France after showing concussion symptoms.

Alainu’uese is one of five players coming into the starting XV from their win over Fiji in July, with Jordan Lay and Seilala Lam in the front row.

The former Glasgow Warriors lock’s inclusion also means a shift to flanker for Theo McFarland, while Alapati Leiua and Ulupano Junior Seuteni start at wing and outside centre respectively.

Teams

Italy: 15 Tommaso Allan, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 1 Danilo Fischetti, 2 Giacomo Nicotera, 3 Simone Ferrari, 4 David Sisi, 5 Federico Ruzza, 6 Manuel Zuliani, 7 Michele Lamaro (captain), 8 Lorenzo Cannone

Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Ivan Nemer, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Niccolò Cannone, 20 Toa Halafihi, 21 Manfredi Albanese, 22 Enrico Lucchin, 23 Tommaso Menoncello

Samoa: 15 Danny Toala, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Ulupano Junior Seuteni, 12 Alai D’Angelo Leuila, 11 Nigel Ah Wong, 10 Rodney Iona, 9 Ereatara Enari; 1 Jordan Lay, 2 Seilala Lam, 3 Michael Ala’alatoa (captain), 4 Brian Alainu’uese, 5 Chris Vui, 6 Theo McFarland, 7 Sa Jordan Taufua, 8 Fritz Lee

Replacements: 16 Ma’atulimanu Leiataua, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Talalelei Gray, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Tomasi Aloisio

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