Rugby-Allan to play at fullback for Italy against Wales
Tommaso Allan will play at fullback for Italy in their Six Nations clash with Wales in Rome on Saturday, taking over from the injured Ange Capuozzo, whose loss for the remainder of the competition is a bitter blow for coach Kieran Crowley. It is the only change from the side that won praise in their 34-20 loss to Ireland last time out, and the first time regular flyhalf Allan starts at fullback for the Italians.
He will form a back three along with wings Edoardo Padovani and Pierre Bruno, while the impressive midfield duo Juan Ignacio Brex and Tommaso Menoncello maintain their partnership. Fit-again Paolo Garbisi keeps his place at flyhalf and will partner number nine Stephen Varney.
The front row of the scrum contains props Danilo Fischetti and Simone Ferrari either side of hooker Giacomo Nicotera, while Niccolo Cannone and Federico Ruzza make up the second row. Flankers Sebastian Negri and captain Michele Lamaro pack down with number eight Lorenzo Cannone. "We’ve recovered well since the last game and this week we’ve been working on the areas where we needed to improve," Crowley said in a media release from Italian Rugby.
"We know the challenge ahead against Wales and look forward to playing and hope to being able to continue to develop the way we want to play." Italy beat Wales in their previous meeting in Cardiff at the end of the 2022 Six Nations with a last minute try from Padovani.
Capuozzo was in electric form that day and his presence in the backline on Saturday will be sorely missed. Italy team:
15 Tommaso Allan (Harlequins, 69 caps) 14 Edoardo Padovani (Benetton Rugby, 43 caps)
13 Juan Ignacio Brex (Benetton Rugby, 21 caps) 12 Tommaso Menoncello (Benetton Rugby, 9 caps)
11 Pierre Bruno (Zebre Parma, 10 caps) 10 Paolo Garbisi (Montpellier, 22 caps)
9 Stephen Varney (Gloucester Rugby, 19 caps) 8 Lorenzo Cannone (Benetton Rugby, 6 caps)
7 Michele Lamaro (Benetton Rugby, 24 caps) 6 Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby, 43 caps)
5 Federico Ruzza (Benetton Rugby, 39 caps) 4 Niccolo Cannone (Benetton Rugby, 28 caps)
3 Simone Ferrari (Benetton Rugby, 43 caps) 2 Giacomo Nicotera (Benetton Rugby, 10 caps)
1 Danilo Fischetti (London Irish, 28 caps) Replacements:
16 Luca Bigi (Zebre Parma 45 caps) 17 Federico Zani (Benetton Rugby, 19 caps)
18 Marco Riccioni (Saracens Rugby, 19 caps) 19 Edoardo Iachizzi (Vannes, 3 caps)
20 Giovanni Pettinelli (Benetton Rugby, 10 caps) 21 Manuel Zuliani (Benetton Rugby, 8 caps)
22 Alessandro Fusco (Zebre Parma, 8 caps) 23 Luca Morisi (London Irish, 42 caps)
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