Castro boost for Azzurri
Martin Castrogiovanni has recovered from broken ribs and will line up in the Italy side to face Scotland at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.
Last Updated: 16/03/12 4:58pm
Prop Martin Castrogiovanni has recovered from broken ribs and will line up in the Italy side to face Scotland at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.
The Leicester front-rower had been expected to miss the remainder of the Six Nations championship after injuring himself in the narrow defeat to England last month.
However, the 30-year-old has made a swifter than expected recovery and will take his place in the Italian front row alongside Leonardo Ghiraldini and Andrea Lo Cicero at the weekend.
Castrogiovanni is one of six changes from the side comfortably beaten 24-3 by Wales last weekend at the Millennium Stadium.
Amongst those recalled by coach Jacques Brunel is scrum-half Edorado Gori who is available again having overcome a knee complaint.
Gori will partner Kristopher Burton in the half-backs, the fly-half retaining his place despite coming in for criticism for his performance in Cardiff.
Elsewhere in the back division, Giovambattista Venditti replaces Luke McLean on the right wing, while Tommaso Benvenuti will start at centre.
Up front, Simone Favaro drops to the bench with flanker Robert Barbieri taking his place, while Aironi lock Marco Bortolami comes in for Cornelius Van Zyl to earn his 93rd cap.
Australian-born lock Joshua Furno could make his Six Nations debut this weekend having been included in the squad - the 22-year-old made his Azzurri bow back in August.
Both teams head into the encounter winless and looking to avoid the 'woden spoon'. Italy have won six of their 18 encounters against Scotland, who have not emerged victorious in Rome since 2006.
Italy: A Masi (Aironi Rugby); G Venditti (Aironi Rugby), T Benvenuti (Benetton Treviso), G Canale (Clermont-Auvergne), Mirco Bergamasco (Racing-Metro Paris); K Burton (Benetton Treviso), E Gori (Benetton Treviso); A Lo Cicero (Racing Metro-Paris), L Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso), M Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers), Q Geldenhuys (Aironi Rugby), M Bortolami (Aironi Rugby), A Zanni (Benetton Treviso), R Barbieri (Benetton Treviso), S Parisse (Stade Francais)
Replacements: T D'Apice (Aironi Rugby), L Cittadini (Benetton Treviso), J Furno (Aironi Rugby), S Favaro (Aironi Rugby), M Vosawai (Benetton Treviso), T Botes (Benetton Treviso), G Toniolatti (Aironi Rugby), M Rizzo (Benetton Treviso), A Sgarbi (Benetton Treviso)