sport

Italy change three for Scots

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has made three changes for Saturday's Six Nations meeting with Scotland in Rome.

Two of those switches come in the back row, where Roberto Barbieri and Alessandro Zanni replace Maurco Bergamasco and Francesco Minto respectively.

The other change comes on the wing, where Angelo Esposito returns in place of Tommaso Iannone, with Matias Aguero and Paul Derbyshire included among the replacements.

Azzurri captain Sergio Parisse and tighthead Martin Castrogiovanni will set a new Italian record by winning their 104th caps, overtaking retired prop Andrea Lo Cicero.

The Stadio Olimpico clash has been dubbed a wooden spoon decider and after suffering a 34-10 defeat at Murrayfield last year, Brunel is expecting a difficult test in Rome.

"Last year we conceded 34 points at Murrayfield, that's something we have to take into consideration," said Brunel.

"Recent results haven't been going Scotland's way, but they're one of the teams we seem to have most difficulty with. They have character and always play with determination. They will be tough opponents."

Switch

Tommaso Allan, who represented Scotland at underage level, starts at fly-half for Italy and Brunel says the Perpignan youngster will be a key player for his side at next year's World Cup.

"We've kept faith with Allan because he's played some good rugby throughout the season, as much with Perpignan as with Italy," said Brunel.

Asked if it would be an emotional game for the Vicenza-born 20-year-old, whose Scottish father and Italian mother met in Italy while both playing the game, Brunel was dismissive.

"I understood from the start of his time with us that he feels truly Italian, even though he has come through the Scottish ranks. For him there's no doubt," he added.

Italy: Luke McLean, Angelo Esposito, Michele Campagnaro, Gonzalo Garcia, Leonardo Sarto, Tommaso Allan, Edoardo Gori; Alberto De Marchi, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Martin Castrogiovanni, Quintin Geldenhuys, Joshua Furno, Alessandro Zanni, Robert Barbieri, Sergio Parisse

Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Matias Aguero, Lorenzo Cittadini, Marco Bortolami, Paul Derbyshire, Tobias Botes, Luciano Orquera, Tommaso Iannone