The opponents of the Parma based franchise at Lanfranchi Stadium will be the Irish Province Munster, the team never defeated by the Italians in the previous 10 encounters.
Zebre technical staff had to prepare the challenge without ten internationals all with the Italian national team. There will be 8 players included in the 23 of Italy which will face South Africa tomorrow in Padua.
During the training week, there were 12 players invited by coach Bradley to the training sessions: three permit players are included on the team sheet against the Red Army: Rugby Calvisano winger Pierre Bruno, Fiamme Oro Rugby lock Davide Fragnito and the national academy utility back Giovanni D’Onofrio.
It will be a revolutionary starting line-up compared to last game in Cardiff on November 4th.
Only 4 players keep their jersey: Bisegni switching to centre while in the forward unit are confirmed Bello, Krumov, Meyer and Minnie.
Sunday’s challenge will see many official debuts. There are overall debuts for Bruno, Australian prop Ah-Nau and New Zealander lock James Tucker. The 23-year-old native of Christchurch only met his team mates on Monday after completing his commitments to the national championship Mitre 10 Cup this year with Waikato.
Good news on the injury frony: Italian international Mbandà will get his first seasonal cap along with scrum-half Raffaele.
A special game for Andrea De Marchi who will receive the necessary standing ovation from the home crowd after reaching the 100 caps with the club in the last game in Cardiff; first in the franchise history founded in 1973 – The Montebelluna prop, coming on the pitch from the bench on Sunday, will also reach the 100 appearances in Guinness PRO14 at its eighth season in the Celtic tournament played with Aironi Rugby and Zebre Rugby.
Here’s Zebre Rugby Club line-up for Saturday, November 26 match at Stadio Lanfranchi in Parma (Italy) for the 9th round of the Guinness PRO14 against the Irish side of Munster. Kick off at 2.30 pm local time:
15 Ciaran Gaffney
14 Pierre Bruno*
13 Giulio Bisegni
12 Faialaga Afamasaga
11 Giovanni D’Onofrio*
10 Maicol Azzolini*
9 Guglielmo Palazzani
8 Derick Minnie
7 Johan Meyer
6 Jacopo Sarto (cap)
5 Leonard Krumov*
4 James Tucker
3 Eduardo Bello
2 Luhandre Luus*
1 Cruze Ah-Nau
16 Oliviero Fabiani
17 Andrea De Marchi
18 Roberto Tenga
19 Davide Fragnito* (permit player tesserato con le Fiamme Oro Rugby)
20 Maxime Mbandà*
21 Riccardo Raffaele*
22 Matteo Pratichetti
23 Valerio Bernabò
Coach. Michael Bradley
Not available for selection due to injury: George Biagi, Tommaso D’Apice*, Gabriele Di Giulio*, Andrea Manici*, David Sisi
Not available for selection capped by Italian national team: Mattia Bellini, Tommaso Boni*, Carlo Canna, Tommaso Castello, Dario Chistolini, Renato Giammarioli*, Andrea Lovotti*, Matteo Minozzi*, Marcello Violi*
*Former member of the Italian Rugby Union academy “Ivan Francescato” of Parma
Referee: Lloyd Linton (Scottish Rugby Union)
Assistant Referees: Keith Allen (Scottish Rugby Union) e Vincenzo Scipani (Federazione Italiana Rugby)
TMO: Neil Paterson (Scottish Rugby Union)
Live tv coverage in Italy on Eurosport 2 and on the UK and Ireland on Sky Sports. Live text coverage of the game on www.pro14rugby.org and on Zebre Rugby twitter account with the official game hashtag #ZEBvMUN