Benetton pair given half-back duties for Italy

Paul Eddison
15 August 2019

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Benetton half-backs Tommaso Allan and Tito Tebaldi will join forces as Italy take on Russia in San Benetton del Tronto on Saturday.


The pair played a leading role in Benetton’s run to the Guinness PRO14 Final Series and will be handed the keys to the Azzurri attack on the Adriatic coast.

There are 14 changes in all to the team, with Benetton’s Jayden Hayward coming in at full-back meaning that Matteo Minozzi shifts to the wing.

Elsewhere, Zebre provide three members of the front five with starts for loosehead prop Andrea Lovotti, hooker Luca Bigi and lock David Sisi.

And in what is Italy’s only warm-up match at home, coach Conor O’Shea is desperate for a big performance from his team.

He said: “We’re not happy with the defeat in Ireland but there were good things that we can take away and work on to keep improving.

“We are taking on a team who have made their physicality a strong point. We want to bring home a victory imposing our game and our rhythm while keeping the focus on us.”

After naming his starting XV on Tuesday, O’Shea named his bench on Thursday with the most notable call being the inclusion as Simone Ferrari as loosehead cover.

Traditionally a tighthead, the Benetton prop will have the chance to show his versatility with a view to the World Cup.

15. Jayden Hayward (Benetton)
14. Matteo Minozzi (Wasps)
13. Michele Campagnaro (Harlequins)
12. Luca Morisi (Benetton)
11. Mattia Bellini (Zebre)
10. Tommaso Allan (Benetton)
9. Tito Tebaldi (Benetton)

1. Andrea Lovotti (Zebre)
2. Luca Bigi (Zebre)
3. Tiziano Pasquali (Benetton)
4. David Sisi (Zebre)
5. Federico Ruzza (Benetton)
6. Braam Steyn (Benetton)
7. Jake Polledri (Gloucester)
8. Sergio Parisse (Toulon) (c)


16. Federico Zani (Benetton)
17. Simone Ferrari (Benetton)
18. Marco Riccioni (Benetton)
19. Alessandro Zanni (Benetton)
20. Sebastian Negri (Benetton)
21. Callum Braley (Gloucester)
22. Carlo Canna (Zebre)
23. Edoardo Padovani (Zebre)

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