Thursday 18 January 2018

Orquera returns as Italy ring changes for England

Terry Daley

OUTHALF Luciano Orquera has returned in one of eight changes to the Italy side for Sunday's Six Nations Championship clash against England at Twickenham.

Orquera, man-of-the-match in Italy's thrilling 23-18 win against France on the opening day of the tournament before struggling in the defeat by Scotland, comes back in for Kristopher Burton who played in the loss to Wales.


"We started the tournament well but have been disappointed in how the following two matches went," coach Jacques Brunel told reporters on Friday.


"Against Wales we didn't play at the intensity we should have. I don't know whether it was because of tiredness or something else, but the attitude wasn't what I expect of this team.


"Sunday's match will be important in that respect. If we're not at their level physically, we can expect a hard afternoon and a potentially heavy defeat."


Sergio Parisse will return to captain Italy as expected after his suspension for insulting a referee during a French Top 14 club match last month was shortened on Wednesday.


Parisse had been suspended for the rest of the Six Nations after the sending off for Stade Francais but the number eight appealed to the French rugby federation and his ban now ends on Saturday.


Brunel has brought in five new faces to a pack that was dominated by Wales in their 26-9 defeat a fortnight ago with loosehead prop Alberto De Marchi replacing Andrea Lo Cicero, who will make a record-breaking 102nd appearance for Italy if he comes off the bench.


Joshua Furno returns alongside Quintin Geldenhuys in the second row and Robert Barbieri replaces Simone Favaro at openside flanker.


In the back line, Gonzalo Canale is moved to his preferred position of outside centre with Tommaso Benvenuti dropping to the bench and Gonzalo Garcia coming in at inside centre.


"Against Scotland and Wales we conceded tries scored by centres, but we think that having played together often for Italy, Garcia and Canale have the sort of good understanding that will be necessary," added Brunel, who joked the only way to stop England centre Manu Tuilagi was "to lock him in the dressing room".


Italy, fifth in the standings above France and desperate to avoid the wooden spoon, host Ireland in their final game on March 16.


England have won three out of three and are targeting a Grand Slam.




15-Andrea Masi, 14-Giovanbattista Venditti, 13-Gonzalo Canale, 12-Gonzalo Garcia, 11-Luke McLean, 10-Luciano Orquera, 9-Edoardo Gori, 8-Sergio Parisse, 7-Robert Barbieri, 6-Alessandro Zanni, 5-Joshua Furno, 4-Quintin Geldenhuys, 3-Martin Castrogiovanni, 2-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1-Alberto De Marchi


Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport