Rugby: Italy turn to fly-half Allan for England clash

Sports Wednesday 22/February/2017 21:16 PM
By: Times News Service
Rugby: Italy turn to fly-half Allan for England clash

Rome: Italy have drafted fly-half Tommaso Allan into their starting line-up as one of four changes for their Six Nations clash at Twickenham on Sunday when they hope to end a 22 game losing streak against England.
Hopes for this season had been high after Italy's historic win over South Africa's Springboks in November, but coach Conor O'Shea has so far failed to recreate that magic formula, with heavy Six Nations home defeats to Wales and Ireland.
Italy will meet an England team unbeaten in 15 matches and O'Shea said they have worked on areas where "we felt gave momentum to Ireland" since their defeat, adding that Italy's players had "a big responsibility" for the England game.
O'Shea named wing Giulio Bisegni in the starting line-up in place of Angelo Esposito and Michele Campagnaro at centre for Tommaso Benvenuti. There is also one change in the pack as South African-born Braam Steyn replaces Maxime Mbanda in the number six jersey, with the latter dropping to the bench.
"We have had to change, but the changes are for the future,” O'Shea told reporters when naming his team on Wednesday.
"One of the big things is to stop feeling sorry for ourselves in games. To stop feeling sorry for ourselves about where we are and focus on performance.
Team: 15-Edoardo Padovani; 14-Giulio Bisegni, 13-Michele Campagnaro, 12-Luke McLean, 11-Giovanbattista Venditti; 10-Tommaso Allan, 9-Edoardo Gori; 8-Sergio Parisse (captain), 7-Simone Favaro, 6-Braam Steyn; 5-Dries van Schalkwyk, 4-Marco Fuser; 3-Lorenzo Cittadini, 2-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1-Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16-Ornel Gega, 17-Michele Rizzo, 18-Pietro Ceccarelli, 19-George Biagi, 20-Maxime Mbanda, 21-Giorgio Bronzini, 22-Carlo Canna, 23-Tommaso Benvenuti.