Italy v Australia - Autumn international match preview
Last Updated: 24/11/12 7:43am
Jacques Brunel is looking to take the positives from Italy's defeat to New Zealand into Saturday's clash with Australia in Florence.
The Azzurri put up a brave display against the All Blacks - and there was little between the two sides at half-time.
But although the world champions pulled away in the second half to win 42-10, Brunel has opted to retain the core of his side to face the Wallabies - with flanker Robert Barbieri and lock Quintin Geldenhuys returning to bolster the pack.
"The return of Barbieri and Geldenhuys is designed to add more power to the team from the start," said Brunel. "But after our positive attitude in Rome, we did not want to make too many changes."
Australia will also go into the game feeling confident after bouncing back from their heavy loss to France with a 20-14 win over England.
However coach Robbie Deans is refusing to underestimate Italy and has made just four changes to his line-up.
Stephen Moore, Scott Higginbotham, Brett Sheehan and Drew Mitchell all come into the starting XV.
The Wallabies were forced to make a late change to their replacements bench with James Hanson taking over from Tatafu Polota Nau as backup hooker after the latter failed to recover from soreness sustained in last week's win at Twickenham.
Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovambattista Venditti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Edoardo Gori, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 5 Francesco Minto, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 7 Robert Barbieri, 8 Sergio Parisse (capt).
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Simone Favaro, 21 Manoa Vosawai, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 Luke McLean.
Australia: 15 Berrick Barnes, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Brett Sheehan, 1 Benn Robinson, 2 Stephen Moore, 3 Ben Alexander, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Michael Hooper, 8 Wycliff Palu.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Mike Harris, 23 Digby Ioane