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Parisse rested for Italy's trip to Ireland, Bortolami to lead

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The Canadian Press
3/6/2014 10:40:47 AM
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ROME -- Italy is resting captain and No. 8 Sergio Parisse for its penultimate Six Nations match against Ireland at Lansdowne Road.

Parisse has a calf injury and coach Jacques Brunel has decided to save him for next week's tournament closer at home against England.

Prop Martin Castrogiovanni, tied with Parisse as Italy's most capped player, will hold the record by himself when he makes his 105th appearance on Saturday.

Robert Barbieri moves from the openside flank to take Parisse's place at No. 8, and lock Marco Bortolami will captain the side for the 39th time in Dublin.

"With five players unavailable we had to adapt ourselves," Brunel said on Thursday. "Among the halfbacks we wanted to give a chance to those who had played less like (Luciano) Orquera, also because against Scotland we didn't manage the pressure well in our half. I wanted to integrate (Tito) Tebaldi into the group before the tournament but he had a slight injury and we couldn't select him.

"The choices made are not in relation to next Saturday's game in Rome against England but based on consistency that we want to have. The next match is against Ireland and we have prepared for the match against that opponent."

Bortolami has been promoted from the bench, along with Paul Derbyshire and Luciano Orquera.

Alessandro Zanni is also injured and he will be replaced as blindside flanker by Joshua Furno, who moves from the second row.

Bortolami comes in for Furno, while Derbyshire takes up Barbieri's position in the No. 7 jersey.

At flyhalf, Orquera bumps out Tommaso Allan, while Tebaldi replaces Edoardo Gori for his appearance in almost two years.

Italy has lost all three of its matches.

"Ireland is certainly a better squad than last year," Brunel said. "But we have to remember that we beat them barely a year ago in Rome and in a rather convincing fashion. We have the chance to do so again."

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Italy: Luke McLean, Angelo Esposito, Michele Campagnaro, Gonzalo Garcia, Leonardo Sarto, Luciano Orquera, Tito Tebaldi; Robert Barbieri, Paul Derbyshire, Joshua Furno, Marco Bortolami (captain), Quintin Geldenhuys, Martin Castrogiovani, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Alberto de Marchi. Reserves: Davide Giazzon, Michele Rizzo, Lorenzo Cittadini, Antonio Pavanello, Manoa Vosawai, Edoardo Gori, Tommaso Allan, Andrea Masi.

Sergio Parisse (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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