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Zebre make four changes to face Connacht

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor

2 Mar 2017

Lock Geldenhuys leads Zebre against the Ospreys

Zebre will be back in action tomorrow night in Ireland against Connacht, the reigning champions of the Guinness PRO12.

The italian side left Parma this morning, heading to Ireland to face the 17th round of the competition scheduled at the Sportsground in Galway.

Under the direction of the Italian referee Mitrea, the two teams will meet for the fourth time this season, with Connacht being victorious in all matches.

With the RBS 6 Nations to observe its second break weekend, the Zebre coaching staff has been able to count on the return to the group of four internationals: centre Boni, prop Chistolini, n°8 Ruzza and hooker D’Apice.

Two other permit players from the main Italian league Eccellenza arrived in Parma on Monday in preparation for the tomorrow’s encounter. Those are two forwards players former member of the national academy “Ivan Francescato” based in Parma: Matteo Archetti and Matteo Cornelli.

There are four changes in the Zebre starting line-up that will be captained for the second time by lock Valerio Bernabo: one in the backs with Castello back in as starter and three in the forwards unit; international prop Chistolini at tight-head prop, experienced lock Geldenhuys and flanker Cornelli who will earn his overall debut in the Guinness Pro12.

Here’s Zebre line-up for Friday, March 3 match at the Sportsground in Galway (Ireland) for the 17th round of the Guinness PRO12 against the Irish side of Connacht. Kick off at 7.35 pm local time:

15 Dion Berryman
14 Mattia Bellini
13 Tommaso Boni*
12 Tommaso Castello
11 Lloyd Greeff
10 Serafin Bordoli
9 Guglielmo Palazzani

8 Federico Ruzza*
7 Gideon Koegelenberg
6 Matteo Cornelli*
5 Valerio Bernabò (cap)
4 Quintin Geldenhuys
3 Dario Chistolini
2 Oliviero Fabiani
1 Bruno Postiglioni

Replacements :

16 Tommaso D’Apice*
17 Andrea De Marchi
18 Bartholomeus Le Roux
19 Joshua Furno*
20 Matteo Archetti*
21 Carlo Engelbrecht
22 Matteo Pratichetti
23 Guillermo Roan

Coach. Victor Jimenez

Not available for selection due to injury: Faialaga Afamasaga, Kurt Baker, Gabriele Di Giulio*, Andrea Manici*, Johan Meyer, Derick Minnie, Jacopo Sarto, Kayle Van Zyl, Marcello Violi*

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

Referee: Marius Mitrea(Federazione Italiana Rugby)
Assistant Referees: Rhys Thomas (Welsh Rugby Union) e Ken Imbusch (Irish Rugby Football Union)
TMO: Jon Mason (Welsh Rugby Union)

Live coverage of the game in Italy on streaming on www.eurosportplayer.it, the web tv of Eurosport.

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