Six Nations: Italy name team to face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday

Last Updated: 30/01/14 3:35pm

  • Share:
Angelo Esposito, pictured in U20 action, will make his senior debut for Italy in Cardiff

Angelo Esposito, pictured in U20 action, will make his senior debut for Italy in Cardiff

Sky Bet

Treviso wing Angelo Esposito will make his Italy debut in Saturday's Six Nations opener against Wales in Cardiff.

Head coach Jacques Brunel has opted to select Esposito as well as inexperienced trio Michele Campagnaro, Leonardo Sarto and Tommaso Allan, as he attempts to cope with a lengthy injury list.

Perpignan fly-half Allan, 20, who represented Scotland at underage level, forms a youthful half-back pairing with Treviso's Edoardo Gori for the Millennium Stadium contest.

Veteran flanker Mauro Bergamasco will become Italy's longest serving player, overtaking the legendary Sergio Lanfranchi, but there is no place in the squad for his brother, Mirco

Sergio Parisse will skipper the side after missing the last two games of the 2013 Six Nations through suspension.

Among those absent through injury are Wasps full-back Andrea Masi, Zebre wing Giovanbattista Venditti and La Rochelle centre Gonzalo Canale.

Brunel said he is hoping for a "strong performance" from his side in Cardiff.

"A win would be beautiful and obviously the result counts, but a strong performance on the field is what most interests me," said Brunel.

"The statistics show that Wales are the strongest side in Europe, but I think we have a team that can give a good account of itself.

"Wales's potential is very high but I'm hoping we can stand up well throughout the game."

Italy have faced Wales 21 times, losing 17 and winning just twice in Rome. Their best result in Cardiff was an 18-18 draw in 2006.

Italy: McLean, Esposito, Campagnaro, Sgarbi, Sarto, Allan, Gori; Rizzo, Ghiraldini, Castrogiovanni, Geldenhuys, Bortolami, Zanni, Bergamasco, Parisse (c)

Replacements: Giazzon, De Marchi, Cittadini, Furno, Minto, Botes, Orquera, Iannone

  • Share:

Related

Six Nations 2014: Wales v Italy

Warren Gatland: positives and things to work on

Gatland happy with tough win

Warren Gatland was "pretty satisfied" after Wales launched their Six Nations campaign with a 23-15 win over Italy.

Jamie Roberts breaks through the line, setting up Scott Williams for Wales' second try

Wales hold off Italy

Wales got their defence of the Six Nations title off to a winning start with a far from convincing 23-15 win over Italy.

Wales begin the defence of their Six Nations title against Italy at a packed out Millennium Stadium.

Wales 23 Italy 15

Wales were far from convincing as they got the defence of their Six Nations title off to a winning start in Cardiff.

Related Profiles

Most Popular

Features

Home highlights

Home highlights

The Ringside team looks back at two of the best fights on home soil of 2014, so far...

Shone over the pond

Shone over the pond

The Ringside team picked out three big-time fighters who have shone across the pond so far this season.

City's Hart felt decision

City's Hart felt decision

Trevor Francis says the Champions Cup will provide the first look at Man City's goalkeeping dilemma