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Italy v Wales - RBS Six Nations match preview
Italy will be without captain and star-man Sergio Parisse for the visit of Wales in Saturday's Six Nations tie at the Stadio Olimpico due to suspension.
Parisse - who was key to the victory over France - was shown a red card for verbal abuse towards a match official during his club Stade Francais' game against Bordeaux, and has subsequently been handed a 40-day ban by the LNR, with 10 days suspended.
In place of Parisse, Italy boss Jacques Brunel has named Ratu Manoe Vosawai at No 8, with Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni captaining a side featuring four changes to the one defeated in Scotland.
Brunel names a new half-back combination on the back of a disappointing defeat with Kristopher Burton taking over from Luciano Orquera at fly-half while Edoardo Gori starts ahead of Tobias Botes.
In the second-row, Antonio Pavanello replaces Quintin Geldenhuys - who drops to the bench - in Italy's only other change.
Wales interim head coach Rob Howley has named an unchanged starting XV to face the Italians, keeping faith in the side that despatched of France a fortnight ago.
Ryan Jones captains the Welsh once again after victory in Paris, with regular captain Sam Warbuton returning from injury to take a place on the bench.
Ospreys lock Alun Wyn Jones also wins a spot on the bench, having returned from injury, in the only two changed Howley made to the 22.
Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovambattista Venditti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Gonzalo Canale, 11 Luke McLean, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Ratu Manoa Vosawai, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Francesco Minto, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (c) 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Gonzalo Garcia.
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones (c), 5 Ian Evans, 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Sam Warburton, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 James Hook, 23 Scott Williams.
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|RBS Six Nations|
|Friday 6th February|
|RBS Six Nations|
|20:05||Wales vs England|
|Saturday 7th February|
|14:30||Italy vs Ireland|
|17:00||France vs Scotland|
|Saturday 14th February|
|14:30||England vs Italy|
|17:00||Ireland vs France|
|Sunday 15th February|
|15:00||Scotland vs Wales|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||Scotland vs Italy|
|17:00||France vs Wales|
|Sunday 1st March|
|15:00||Ireland vs England|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com