Quadrangular tournament: Italy v Samoa match preview

Last Updated: 15/06/13 1:10pm

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Sky Bet

Italy have made seven changes to their line-up ahead of Saturday's quadrangular series encounter with Samoa in Nelspruit.

Jacques Brunel welcomes back veteran centres Gonzalo Canale and Gonzalo Garcia in the midfield as the Frenchman makes four changes to his back-line.

Following a resounding 44-10 defeat at the hands of South Africa last weekend, Luciano Orquera regains the fly-half jersey while Treviso winger Tommaso Iannone wins his third cap on the left as Alberto di Bernardo and Luke Mclean are dropped to the bench.

Up front, Martin Castrogiovanni comes back in at tighthead prop with Valerio Bernabo preferred in the second row while Mauro Bergamasco makes his first appearance in almost a year at openside flanker.

In contrast, Samoa make just one change in their starting XV as the sides prepare to meet for the first time in four years.

Head coach Stephen Betham's switch comes in the front row, where Sakaria Taulafo is preferred to Logovii Mulipola at loosehead prop with the latter dropped to the bench.

Samoa will aim to consolidate last weekend's 27-17 victory over Scotland by booking a place in the quadrangular tournament final when they meet the Azzurri at the Mbombela Stadium.

Betham has also made changes on the bench with Clermont hooker Ti'i Paulo introduced in place of Manu Leiataua and lock Kane Thompson taking over from Faatiga Lemalu while uncapped forward Piula Faasalele is also included in the islanders' 23-man squad.

Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Tommaso Iannone, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (capt), 7 Mauro Bergamasco , 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Valerio Bernabo, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements:16 Andrea Manici, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Tobias Botes , 22 Alberto di Bernardo, 23 Luke Mclean.

Samoa: 15 James So'oialo, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Paul Williams (capt), 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Jeremy Sua, 8 Taiasina Tuifua, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Ofisa Treviranus, 5 Daniel Leo, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Wayne Ole Avei, 1 Sakaria Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Logovii Mulipola, 18 James Johnston, 19 Kane Thompson, 20 Junior Poluleuligaga, 21 Brando Vaaulu, 22 Seilala Mapusua, 23 Piula Faasalele.

What they said...

Samoa head coach Stephen Betham

"We crave consistency rather than performing well one weekend and badly the next.

"Samoans have natural flair and physical attributes, but they must hold their own at the set pieces too."

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