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What are the teams for Italy v Australia?

What are the teams for Italy v Australia?

2022 Guinness Six Nations Championship Round 5, Principality Stadium, Wales 19/3/2022 Wales vs Italy Ange Capuozzo of Italy celebrates with fans after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Andy Watts

Italy and Australia meet for the first time in four years in a special Autumn Nations Series encounter on Saturday, as Florence hosts a rare Test match.

The Stadio Artemio Franchi is the setting, as the Azzurri bid to make it back-to-back Autumn Nations Series wins and record a first-ever success against Australia.

The Wallabies are unbeaten in all 18 meetings, the most recent being a 26-7 success in Padua four years ago.

But Kieran Crowley took encouragement from Italy’s classy 49-17 win over Samoa last Saturday which saw wingers Monty Ioane and Pierre Bruno run in two tries each.

Australia’s two Autumn Nations Series matches have gone right to the wire, edging Scotland 15-16 in Edinburgh before a stunning late Damian Penaud try gave France a 30-29 win last weekend.

If those two matches are anything to go by, fans will be in for a treat when the action kicks off at 2pm local time on Saturday.

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Capuozzo and Negri return from injury

Crowley has made four changes to the starting XV that defeated Samoa last time out, with Ange Capuozzo and Sebastian Negri both ruled fit to start after recovering from injury.

Toulouse full-back Capuozzo’s inclusion shifts Tommaso Allan to the replacements bench, while loose forward Negri is in for Manuel Zuliani who drops out of the squad altogether.

And after making his senior international bow against Samoa, No.8 Lorenzo Cannone will be packing down behind his brother Niccolò who replaces David Sisi in the second row.

The final change comes at hooker, with Gianmarco Lucchesi set to earn his 16th Italy cap in place of Giacomo Nicotera.


Michele Lamaro captains the side again from openside, while Alessandro Garbisi could make his third senior international appearance after being named in the replacements.

Crowley insisted the squad had been training hard in preparation for the clash and was optimistic the Azzurri could frustrate Dave Rennie’s men.

“We started off on the right foot against Samoa, but now that match is in the past and we are thinking about the present,” said Crowley.

“We will face a top-level team in Australia. We’ve worked at our best during the week and if we play to our full potential we can make it difficult for our opponents.”

Alaalatoa captains the Wallabies for the first time amid 11 changes

Allan Alaalatoa will become the 85th Wallabies captain when he leads the side out against Italy as part of 11 changes to the starting XV.

The Brumbies captain links up with hooker Folau Fainga’a and Alstonville product Matt Gibbon in the front row, who earns his first Test cap.

Mark Nawaqanitawase will make his Wallabies debut on the right wing and forms the back three with Tom Wright and Jock Campbell.

Lock Will Skelton earns his first Test start since June 2016, while Ned Hanigan, Fraser McReight and Pete Samu make up the back row.

Scrum-half Jake Gordon returns to face the team he made his international debut against in 2018 and will dovetail with fly-half Noah Lolesio.

Hunter Paisami returns at inside centre after injury to Lalakai Foketi in Paris and will partner Brumbies outside centre Len Ikitau in the midfield.

Teams

Italy: 15 Ange Capuozzo, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 1 Danilo Fischetti, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 3 Simone Ferrari, 4 Niccolò Cannone, 5 Federico Ruzza, 6 Sebastian Negri, 7 Michele Lamaro (captain), 8 Lorenzo Cannone

Replacements: 16 Giacomo Nicotera, 17 Ivan Nemer, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 David Sisi, 20 Toa Halafihi, 21 Alessandro Garbisi, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Tommaso Menoncello

Australia: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Jake Gordon; 1 Matt Gibbon, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 4 Nick Frost, 5 Will Skelton, 6 Ned Hanigan, 7 Fraser McReight, 8 Pete Samu

Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Langi Gleeson, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Jordan Petaia

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