sport

Bortolami to skipper Italy

Marco Bortolami will lead Italy against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday in the absence of regular captain Sergio Parisse.

Coach Jacques Brunel has opted to rest the No 8, who has a thigh problem, and ensure his availability for their final Six Nations match of the year against England in Rome later this month.

Benetton Treviso's Robert Barbieri will take Parisse's place at number eight.

Lock Bortolami was benched for the last-gasp defeat by Scotland last month but, along with Paul Derbyshire and Luciano Orquera, is handed a recall by Brunel.

Derbyshire replaces flanker Alessandro Zanni, who injured his knee in the 21-20 defeat at the hands of the Scots, and there is also a recall at scrum-half for Tito Tebaldi, who has been out of favour since the summer of 2012.

Prop Michele Rizzo is included among the replacements after serving a three-week suspension for head-butting an opponent and there are also places on the bench for Treviso flanker Manoa Vosawai and London Wasps centre Andrea Masi.

The Azzurri have not beaten Ireland in Dublin since a 37-29 victory in January 1997.

Italy: L McLean (Treviso), A Esposito (Treviso), M Campagnaro (Treviso), G Garcia (Zebre), L Sarto (Zebre), L Orquera (Zebre), T Tebaldi (Ospreys); A De Marchi (Treviso), L Ghiraldini (Treviso), M Castrogiovanni (Toulon), Q Geldenhuys (Zebre), M Bortolami (Zebre), Joshua Furno (Biarritz), P Derbyshire (Treviso), R Barbieri (Treviso).

Replacements: D Giazzon (Zebre), M Rizzo (Treviso), L Cittadini (Treviso), A Pavanello (Treviso), M Vosawai (Treviso), E Gori (Treviso), T Allan (Perpignan), A Masi (London Wasps).