Italy v France - RBS Six Nations match preview

Last Updated: 03/02/13 2:29pm

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Italy captain Sergio Parisse insists his side will have "no fear" when they take on France in the RBS Six Nations on Sunday.

The Azzurri caused a massive shock when they toppled France in Rome two years ago - while the Italians have come on leaps and bounds under coach Jacques Brunel.

They beat Scotland to avoid the wooden spoon in last season's tournament, while they went close to beating Australia and gave New Zealand some uncomfortable moments in the autumn Tests.

And Parisse, who plays in France with Stade Francais, believes France will have taken not of Italy's form.

He said: "France are a great team, but there's no doubt about the fact they have respect for us. In 2011 we beat them at Flaminio.

"We all know their individual qualities, but we'll be going into this match with no fear, as we do every time."

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre echoed Parisse's comments, insisting that his side would not underestimate the challenge.

"They are not a minor team, as they are sometimes portrayed," Saint-Andre said.

"They are a team that is making progress all the time in times of structure and organisation. It will be a tough match for us."

Former France captain Thierry Dusautoir has been recalled for Sunday's encounter after recovering from a knee injury.

Dusautoir's comes in as one of six changes, with Benjamin Fall, Maxime Machenaud, Yannick Forestier and Dimitri Szarzewski also starting and Yoann Huget moving to full-back.

Frederic Michalak retains the fly-half jersey despite playing his club rugby for Toulon at scrum-half, Florian Fritz and Maxime Mermoz make up the centre combination, with Mathieu Bastareaud on the bench.

Les Bleus will be seeking revenge after suffering a humiliating 22-21 defeat in Rome in 2011.

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

France: 15 Yoann Huget, 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Benjamin Fall, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 1 Yannick Forestier, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 3 Nicolas Mas, 4 Pascal Pape (capt), 5 Yoann Maestri, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 8 Louis Picamoles.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud

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