Jacques Brunel insists Italy can cope without suspended captain Sergio Parisse
Italy coach Jacques Brunel insists the Azzurri can cope without Sergio Parisse against Wales in Rome on Saturday.
Last Updated: 22/02/13 3:52pm
The Stade Francais No 8 was sent off playing for his club against Bordeaux-Begles last weekend, and received a 40-day ban, 10 days of which were suspended.
Parisse is likely to appeal, with a hearing set to take place next week, but as it stands he will miss the rest of the Six Nations.
In his absence Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni has taken over as skipper and Fiji-born Treviso No 8 Manoa Vosawai comes into the back row.
"We have to look at this game against Wales with ambition," Brunel said. "I think we can win it despite the absence of Parisse.
"There are lots of players who are very influential in the game. Sergio is undoubtedly one of them, but he isn't the only one. We can't think this team is dependent on one player.
"Castrogiovanni was picked as captain for our summer tour last year and did very well.
"With him in charge we won two matches out of two. If he carries on like that, we could win the Six Nations championship.
"Manoa plays at No 8 at Treviso, just like Robert Barbieri and to a lesser extent Paul Derbyshire. Barbieri is still not 100 per cent, which is why we have gone with Vosawai, with Derbyshire on the bench as a possible replacement, as well as another option on the flank."
Brunel has switched both his half-backs, dropping Tobias Botes and the hero of their shock win over France, Luciano Orquera.
Edoardo Gori and Kristopher Burton come in and Brunel said: "Tobias and Luciano played very well against France, but in Scotland they struggled in the game management, like the rest of the team. That is why we have decided to make changes."