Italy coach Nick Mallett has his captain Sergio Parisse back in the team that will take on the Springboks in Witbank for the first match of their two Test tour of South Africa.
The Azzurri take on the world champion Springboks for the ninth time in their history, having never beaten the South Africans.
The highly rated No.8, Parisse, makes his return to the side for the first time this season, after missing the entire six Nations tournament through a serious knee injury.
The cornerstone of the Italian scrum Martin Castrogiovanni features in the front row, and will hope to terrorise the South African front row, as he did on lasts year’s year-end tour.
Mallet has left out 39-time capped South African-born lock Carlo Del Fava for the clash, but has included another South African in the second row, as Quintin Geldenhuys prepares to win his tenth Test cap on Saturday.
Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Kaine Robertson, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Craig Gower, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Sergio Parisse (Captain), 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Simone Favaro, 5 Quintin Geldenhuys, 4 Valerio Bernabo, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Fabio Ongaro, 17 Lorenzo Cittadini, 18 Marco Bortolami, 19 Paul Derbyshire, 20 Simon Picone, 21 Riccardo Bocchino, 22 Gonzalo Canale.
Date: Saturday, June 19
Venue: Puma Stadium, Witbank
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Small (England)
Assistant referees: Keith Brown (New Zealand), David Changleng (Scotland)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)
Courtesy of Rugby 365.comTweet