Autumn International preview: Italy v Fiji

By Sam Drury - Follow on Twitter   Last updated: 15th November 2013  

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Italy will be determined to bounce back from last weekend's thrashing against Australia, when they host Fiji in Cremona on Saturday.

The Azzurri's 50-20 defeat to the Wallabies was a setback for coach Jacques Brunel especially after overseeing some great progress from the Italians since he took over the reins after the 2011 World Cup.

While captain and number eight Sergio Parisse and prop Martin Castrogiovanni are set to make their 100th appearances in Cremona, they are among only seven players to retain their starting places after Brunel wielded the axe.

The coach admitted that Italy's morale suffered a blow and expects amends to be made against Fiji before they take on Argentina in their final Test of the year in Rome on November 23.

Reason for changes

"Against Australia last Saturday the team didn't play to its full potential, and this is certainly one of the reasons we've made so many changes," explained Brunel.

"But we also want to use these games to give a chance to the players who have been selected.

Fiji boss Inoke Mali will be happy after his side got their end-of-year tour off to a fine start with a 36-13 victory over Portugal last weekend but he knows that his side will have to show considerable improvement if they want a repeat of that result against the Azzurri.

Although history suggests the match could go either way as in eight previous meeting between the sides there have been four wins for each side.

Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Giovambattista Venditti, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Tommaso Iannone, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (capt), 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Valerio Bernabo, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Joshua Furno, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Michele Campagnaro.

Fiji: 15 Metuisela Talebula, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12 Nemani Nadolo, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Serenaia Bai, 9 Nemia Kenatale, 8 Sakiusa Matadigo, 7 Akapusi Qera (c), 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotukula, 5 Wame Lewaravu, 4 Apisai Naikatini, 3 Setefano Somoca, 2 Viliame Veikoso, 1 Jereremaia Yanuyanutawa.
Replacements: 16 Seremaia Namaralevu, 17 Campese Ma'afu, 18 Manasa Saulo, 19 Sisa Koyamaibole, 20 Malakai Ravulo, 21 Nikola Matawalu, 22 Waisea Luveniyali, 23 Adriu Delai.