Italy v New Zealand - Autumn international match preview
Last Updated: 16/11/12 9:35am
Italy coach Jacques Brunel has claimed tackling New Zealand is akin to climbing Mount Everest.
The Azzurri will take on the all-conquering All Blacks at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday - with the tourists unbeaten in 18 Tests and having won the World Cup, the inaugural Rugby Championship, the Bledisloe Cup and blown away Scotland at Murrayfield.
"If New Zealand are the Everest of rugby, we must be ready to climb as far and as high as we can and make light of the cold and bad weather," Brunel said.
"Otherwise we're better off staying in the comfort of Mont Blanc."
Brunel has made eight changes following his side's 28-23 win over Tonga, with Giovambattista Venditti, Mirco Bergamasco, Luciano Orquera, Edoardo Gori, Simone Favaro, Francesco Minto, Antonio Pavanello and Martin Castrogiovanni all handed starts.
New Zealand have also made wholesale changes for the match - with only Julian Savea retained from the starting XV that beat Scotland 51-22.
"The team last week put a stake in the ground and while the performance was nowhere near perfect, there was some quality rugby played," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
"There is now an opportunity for this group to build on that."
Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovambattista Venditti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Francesco Minto, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Mauro Bergamasco, 21 Robert Barbieri, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 Luke McLean.
New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Dan Carter, 23 Cory Jane.
Sat 11th Jul
South Africa0 - 0World XV
Sat 8th Aug
Wales0 - 0Ireland
Sat 15th Aug
Argentina0 - 0South Africa
New Zealand0 - 0Australia
Ireland0 - 0Scotland
England0 - 0France
Sat 22nd Aug
Italy0 - 0Scotland
France0 - 0England
Sat 29th Aug
Ireland0 - 0Wales
Scotland0 - 0Italy