Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
The Garibaldi Cup is at stake here in Rome this Sunday. Named after the famous Italian Patriot it is the symbol of supremacy between these two rugby nations. France holds the cup.
So who would be the favourite going into this test match? The time would have been when ‘France’ would have immediately been said. Is this case in Rome today?
Italy are brimming with confidence following their narrow win over Scotland at Murrayfield two weeks ago. This will be a special occasion for Sergio Parisse as he trots out onto the paddock for his 112th and Italian record test match.Such is the confidence that although available veteran prop Castrogiovanni has not been recalled to the team
France have shown grit and determination in their three matches for a win and two losses. The grit and determination has been without that French flare that we have come to expect. The unpredictability of the French has not appeared so far this season. You can expect only grit and determination.
French coach Saint-Andre has made more changes to this side. His selection policies have been influenced by injuries but setting up successful combinations has not resulted.
It’s all on in Rome. It should be a cracker!
Last Five Encounters
09.02.2014 France 30-6 in Paris (6 Nations; Garibaldi Cup)
03.02.2013 Italy 23-18 in Rome (6 Nations; Garibaldi Cup)
04.02.2012 France 30-12 in Paris (6 Nations; Garibaldi Cup)
12.03.2011 Italy 22-21 in Rome (6 Nations; Garibaldi Cup)
14.03.2010 France 46-20 in Paris (6 Nations; Garibaldi Cup)
France has lost the last two test matches against Italy in Rome. They last won there in 2009.
France Last Five P 5, W 2, L 3
28.02.2015 v Wales L 13-20 in Paris (6 Nations)
14.02.2015 v Ireland L 11-18 in Dublin (6 Nations)
07.02.2015 v Scotland W 15-8 in Paris (6 Nations)
22.11.2014 v Argentina L 13-18 in Paris
15.11.2014 v Australia W 29-26 in Paris
Italy Last Five P 5, W 1, L 4
28.02.2015 v Scotland W 22-19 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
14.02.2015 v England L 17-47 at Twickenham (6 Nations)
07.02.2015 v Ireland L 3-26 in Rome (6 Nations)
22.11.2014 v South Africa L 6-22 in Padova
14.11.2014 v Argentina L 18-20 in Genoa
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table: Italy 8th, France 11th
Europe Table: France 4th, Italy 5th
World Rugby Ranking Points
France 78.96, Italy 73.08
Prediction: Italy by 4 points
15 Luke McLean, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Andrea Masi,
11 Giovambattista Venditti, 10 Kelly Haimona, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse,(Capt.), 7 Samuela Vunisa, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Joshua Furno,
4 George Fabio Biagi, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Matias Aguero.
16 Andrea Manici, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Marco Barbini, 20 Guglielmo Palazzini, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Enrico Bacchin.
Head Coach: Jacque Brunel
15 Scott Spedding, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Maxime Mermoz,
11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Sébastian Tillous-Borde, 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (Capt.), 5 Yoann Maestri,
4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Rabah Slimani, 18 Vincent Debaty, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud
Head Coach: Phillipe Saint-Andre