Italy v Scotland at Murrayfield (World Cup Warm-up)
Referee: David Pearson (England)
Wholesale changes are the order of the day as coaches strive to give all prospects for a World Cup place a chance to prove a late point. Ireland’s team contains only one player from the starting line up that defeated Ireland two weeks ago whilst Nik Mallett has made eleven changes to his side that defeated Japan last weekend.
Among those to turn out for Ireland after a long absence are Chris Cusiter (scrum half) and Euan Murray (prop).
Leonardo Ghiraldini was replaced late after selection due to injury. His place has been taken by experienced test player Fabio Ongaro. In other late changes, Joshua Furno takes Matteo Pratichetti’s place on the bench whilst Edoardo Gori takes the injured Pablo Canavosio’s also on the bench.
Last Five Encounters
19.03.2011 Scotland 21-8 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
27.02.2010 Italy 16-12 in Rome (6 Nations)
28.02.2009 Scotland 26-6 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
15.03.2008 Italy 23-20 in Rome (6 Nations)
29.09.2007 Scotland 18-16 in St Etienne (World Cup, Pool C)
Italy defeated Scotland at Murrayfield in February 2007, with a famous 37-17 win.
Italy Last Five
13.08.2011 v Japan W 31-24 in Cesena (World Cup Warm-up)
19.03.2011 v Scotland L 8-21 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
12.03.2011 v France W 22-21 in Rome (6 Nations)
26.02.2011 v Wales L 16-24 in Rome (6 Nations)
12.02.2011 v England L 13-59 at Twickenham (6 Nations)
Scotland Last Five
06.08.2011 v Ireland W 10-6 at Murrayfield (World Cup Warm-up)
19.03.2011 v Italy W 21-8 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
13.03.2011 v England L 16-22 at Twickenham (Calcutta Cup; 6 Nations)
27.02.2011 v Ireland L 18-21 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
12.02.2011 v Wales L 6-24 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Scotland 4th, Italy 10th
Europe Table-Scotland 1st, Italy 6th
IRB Ranking Points
Scotland 78.57, Italy 74.14
Prediction: Scotland too much oomph in the second half, to win by 19 points.
15 Rory Lamont, 14 Max Evans, 13 Nicholas De Luca, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Simon Danielli, 10 Daniel Parks, 9 Michael Blair, 8 Richard Vernon, 7 John Barclay, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alastair Kellock, Capt. 4 Nathan Hines, 3 Moray Low, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
16 Douglas Hall, 17 Euan Murray, 18 Richard Gray, 19 Ross Rennie, 20 Christopher Cusiter, 21 Ruaridh Jackson, 22 Nikki Walker.
Head Coach: Andy Robinson
15 Andrea Masi, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Sergio Parisse, Capt. 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Paul Derbyshire, 5 Cornelius Van Zyl, 4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.
16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Lorenzo Cittadini, 18 Marco Bortolami, 19 Alessandro Zanni, 20 21 Riccardo Bocchino, 22 Joshua Furno
Head Coach: Nik Mallett