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Home debut for former All Blacks Sevens captain Kurt Baker

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor

30 Dec 2016

Kurt Baker

Tomorrow at the Stadio Lanfranchi in Parma it’s the last game of 2016. Zebre Rugby will host Edinburgh Rugby in the 12th round of the Guinness PRO12, just two months after the first leg of the encounter. Back in October the Italians got their first ever win on Scottish soil thanks to a late try by international winger Venditti. The BT Murrayfield Stadium win is the only one gained by Zebre during the season, failing to achieve a home win in all 2016/17 competitions. On the other side Edinburgh is still searching for the first away point of its Guinness PRO12 campaign. The Scots have been beaten four times by Zebre in the 9 previous meeting with the only away win in Parma back in March 2013 in the first ever Guinness PRO12 season for the Italian franchise. Both teams are coming off two defeats in the national derbies last weekend against Treviso and Glasgow Warriors.

Zebre’s coaching staff have opted for three changes in the starting line-up, counting on the return of former All Blacks Seven captain Kurt Baker who has recovered from long term injury. The New Zealander will make his Italian debut after playing only the the two first games of the Guinness Pro12 in Wales back in September. All three changes are in the backs with Samoan international Afamasaga selected for the first time in a Guinness PRO12 game along with Italian international Boni at centre.

Here’s Zebre line-up for Saturday, December 31 at Stadio Lanfranchi in Parma for the 12nd round of the Guinness PRO12 against Edinburgh. Kick off at 12.00pm local time:

15 Edoardo Padovani*
14 Kurt Baker
13 Tommaso Boni*
12 Faialaga Afamasaga
11 Giovanbattista Venditti*
10 Carlo Canna
9 Marcello Violi*

8 Andries Van Schalkwyk
7 Johan Meyer
6 Derick Minnie
5 George Biagi (cap)
4 Quintin Geldenhuys
3 Dario Chistolini
2 Tommaso D’Apice*
1 Andrea Lovotti*

16 Carlo Festuccia
17 Guillermo Roan
18 Pietro Ceccarelli
19 Joshua Furno
20 Federico Ruzza*
21 Guglielmo Palazzani
22 Matteo Pratichetti
23 Mattia Bellini

Coach. Gianluca Guidi

*Former member of the Italian Rugby Union academy “Ivan Francescato” of Tirrenia.

Not available for selection due to injury: Dion Berryman, Gabriele Di Giulio*, Andrea Manici*, Maxime Mbandà*, Jacopo Sarto, Kayle Van Zyl

Suspended: Giulio Bisegni, Oliviero Fabiani

Referee: Gary Conway (Irish Rugby Football Union)
Assistant Referees: Matteo Liperini and Filippo Bertelli (both Federazione Italiana Rugby)
TMO: Leo Colgan (Irish Rugby Football Union)

The game will be broadcasted live in Italy on Eurosport 2 and on live streaming on www.eurosportplayer.it

Live text coverage of the game on www.pro12rugby.com and on Zebre Rugby twitter account with the official game hashtag #ZEBvEDI