Saturday, November 14, 2009

International Rugby: New Zealand Make Big Changes for Italy

New Zealand v Italy in Milan

Venue: San Siro Stadium (Football)

Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)

New Zealand has made wholesales changes to its team that will face Italy. A number of players will be making their test debuts for the Kiwis. In all honesty I doubt it will matter a drop. Italy are in for a tough match.

This Kiwi side is beginning to look alarmingly, for the opponents anyway, like that great side that Grand-slammed its way around the home nations this time last year. In 2008 it didn't matter whether New Zealand fielded their first, their second, or their Grannies, they still won all their test matches comfortably and more. Same again? They are hardened by a Tri Nations campaign and a local provincial championship the envy of the world. Make no mistake. The All Blacks will fire tomorrow.

So what about Italy. They'll have a huge crowd to support them. They have a forward pack that will rumble the opposition all over the park, and they have a fly half-scrum half combination which looks finally to have solved the problems Italy has had in that area. Yes, they compete, but in the end, if things get sticky, just look at the All Black bench!

Last Five Encounters
27.06.2009 New Zealand 27-6 in Christchurch
08.09.2007 New Zealand 76-14 in Marseilles (World Cup, Pool C)
11.10.2003 New Zealand 70-7 in Melbourne (World Cup, Pool D)
08.06.2002 New Zealand 65-10 in Hamilton
25.11.2000 New Zealand 56-19 in Rome

GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-New Zealand 2nd, Italy 10th

Prediction: No contest. New Zealand by 30 points.



15 Luke McLean
14 Kaine Robertson
13 Gonzalo Canale
12 Gonzalo Garcia
11 Mirco Bergamasco
10 Craig Gower
9 Tito Tebaldi
8 Sergio Parisse
7 Mauro Bergamasco
6 Alessandro Zanni
5 Quintin Geldenhuys
4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava
3 Martin Castrogiovanni
2 Leonardo Ghiraldini
1 Salvatore Perugini
16 Fabio Ongaro
17 Ignacio Rouyet
18 Antonio Pavanell
19 Simone Favaro
20 Simon Picone
21 Kristopher Burton
22 Alberto Sgarbi
Head Coach: Nik Mallett


New Zealand
15 Cory Jane
14 Benjamin Smith
13 Tamati Ellison
12 Luke McAlister
11 Sitiveni Sivivatu
10 Michael Delany
9 Andrew Ellis
8 Rodney So'oialo
7 Tanerau Latimer
6 Liam Messam
5 Anthony Boric
4 Thomas Donnelly
3 Neemia Tialata
2 Corey Flynn
1 Wyatt Crockett.
16 Andrew Hore
17 John Afoa
18 Jason Eaton
19 Richie McCaw
20 James Cowan
21 Stephen Donald
22 Mils Muliaina
Head Coach: Graham Henry

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