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Italy

  • Castrogiovanni, Parisse,
    Penalty goals: Orquera,
    Drop goals: Orquera, Burton,
    Conversions: Orquera (2),
23 - 18

France

  • Picamoles, Fall,
    Penalty goals: Michalak (2),
    Conversions: Michalak,
  • RBS Six Nations
  • 3rd Feb 2013
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: Stadio Olimpico
  • Att: 67,529

Italy v France - RBS Six Nations match preview

Last updated: 3rd February 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Thierry Dusautoir France training 2012

Thierry Dusautoir: Back in action for France

Italy captain Sergio Parisse Six Nations launch with ball

Sergio Parisse: Doesn't fear France

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Italy captain Sergio Parisse insists his side will have "no fear" when they take on France in the RBS Six Nations on Sunday.

The Azzurri caused a massive shock when they toppled France in Rome two years ago - while the Italians have come on leaps and bounds under coach Jacques Brunel.

They beat Scotland to avoid the wooden spoon in last season's tournament, while they went close to beating Australia and gave New Zealand some uncomfortable moments in the autumn Tests.

And Parisse, who plays in France with Stade Francais, believes France will have taken not of Italy's form.

He said: "France are a great team, but there's no doubt about the fact they have respect for us. In 2011 we beat them at Flaminio.

"We all know their individual qualities, but we'll be going into this match with no fear, as we do every time."

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre echoed Parisse's comments, insisting that his side would not underestimate the challenge.

"They are not a minor team, as they are sometimes portrayed," Saint-Andre said.

"They are a team that is making progress all the time in times of structure and organisation. It will be a tough match for us."

Former France captain Thierry Dusautoir has been recalled for Sunday's encounter after recovering from a knee injury.

Dusautoir's comes in as one of six changes, with Benjamin Fall, Maxime Machenaud, Yannick Forestier and Dimitri Szarzewski also starting and Yoann Huget moving to full-back.

Frederic Michalak retains the fly-half jersey despite playing his club rugby for Toulon at scrum-half, Florian Fritz and Maxime Mermoz make up the centre combination, with Mathieu Bastareaud on the bench.

Les Bleus will be seeking revenge after suffering a humiliating 22-21 defeat in Rome in 2011.

Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovambattista Venditti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Luke McLean, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tobias Botes, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 5 Francesco Minto, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 7 Simone Favaro, 8 Sergio Parisse (c).
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Alberto De Marchi , 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Kristopher Burton, 23 Gonzalo Canale.

France: 15 Yoann Huget, 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Benjamin Fall, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 1 Yannick Forestier, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 3 Nicolas Mas, 4 Pascal Pape (capt), 5 Yoann Maestri, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 8 Louis Picamoles.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud

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Forthcoming RBS Six Nations Fixtures
TimeFixture
RBS Six Nations
Friday 6th February
RBS Six Nations
20:05Wales vs England
Saturday 7th February
14:30Italy vs Ireland
17:00France vs Scotland
Saturday 14th February
14:30England vs Italy
17:00Ireland vs France
Sunday 15th February
15:00Scotland vs Wales
Saturday 28th February
14:30Scotland vs Italy
17:00France vs Wales
Sunday 1st March
15:00Ireland vs England
Saturday 14th March
14:30Wales vs Ireland
17:00England vs Scotland
Sunday 15th March
15:00Italy vs France
Saturday 21st March
12:30Italy vs Wales
14:30Scotland vs Ireland
17:00England vs France

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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