Italy name side to climb 'rugby's Everest'

CLARE FALLON
Last updated 07:31 16/11/2012
Jacques Brunel
Getty Images
RUGBY'S EVEREST: Italy coach Jacques Brunel.

Relevant offers

International

Austin Healey: Lions should pick NZ-born Denny Solomona for tour Sir John Kirwan believes open discussion on suicide the key to curbing statistics Car sponsor dumps Dan Carter over drink-driving charge Agonising irony in former Wallabies lock Dan Vickerman's death How All Blacks great Ma'a Nonu helped Quade Cooper get back in the game Chiefs assistant coach Kieran Keane joins Irish club Connacht, replacing Pat Lam Is the black dog the elephant in the room for rugby union and rugby league? Dan Vickerman confided about transition difficulties after retiring from rugby Wallabies lock Dan Vickerman 'a good bastard' - former All Blacks lock Chris Jack Australian Rugby offers counselling to players shocked at death of Wallabies star Dan Vickerman, aged 37

Francesco Minto will make his debut for Italy against New Zealand as one of eight changes to the team for a match coach Jacques Brunel compares to climbing Everest.

"New Zealand are the Everest of rugby," Brunel said. "We are climbers who have to scale the most difficult mountain without fear, ready to brave the cold and the bad weather. Otherwise, we might as well stay calmly on Mont Blanc."

World champions New Zealand have beaten Italy 13 times in as many meetings and Brunel said the game at Rome's Olympic Stadium would show how much progress his team had made.

"For us it will be an important game to find out what our level is compared to the strongest team in the world, whether we are far from them or close," the Frenchman said.

"The All Blacks are the stiffest test to show us in which direction our work needs to go."

As well as adding Minto to the back row, Brunel will welcome back wing Mirco Bergamasco, who missed Saturday's 28-23 defeat of Tonga with a muscle problem.

Wing Giovambattista Venditti, who was on the bench against Tonga, will play and Luciano Orquera will start for the first time under Brunel, replacing Kristopher Burton.

Captain Sergio Parisse and Martin Castrogiovanni will earn their 90th caps in the game.

Italy: Andrea Masi, Giovambattista Venditti, Tommaso Benvenuti, Alberto Sgarbi, Mirco Bergamasco, Luciano Orquera, Edoardo Gori, Sergio Parisse (captain), Simone Favaro, Alessandro Zanni, Francesco Minto, Antonio Pavanello, Martin Castrogiovanni, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Andrea Lo Cicero. Reserves: Davide Giazzon, Alberto de Marchi, Lorenzo Cittadini, Quintin Geldenhuys, Mauro Bergamasco, Robert Barbieri, Tobias Botes, Luke McLean.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the better Springboks lock?

Bakkies Botha

Victor Matfield

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content