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Rugby: Parisse returns to lead Italy against England

Azzurri need victory to get something from poor campaign

13 March, 17:18
Rugby: Parisse returns to lead Italy against England (ANSA) - Rome, March 13 - Captain Sergio Parisse will return to Italy's starting line-up for their final Six Nations match against England at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Saturday, coach Jacques Brunel announced Thursday. The Azzurri need a first-ever victory over former world champions England to get something out of what has been a disappointing campaign.

Brunel's men have lost all four of their matches so far and were thumped 46-7 by Ireland in Dublin last weekend. Parisse, one of the world's best number eights, was rested against the Irish as a precautionary measure because of a calf strain.

Parisse returns at the back of the scrum, with Robert Barbieri shifting across to openside flanker and Paul Derbyshire dropping to the bench.

His return is one of three changes Brunel has made to his team.

The other changes are in the front row.

Lorenzo Cittadini replaces the injured Martin Castrogiovanni at tighthead prop, while Matias Aguero takes over from Alberto De Marchi at loosehead. England have a chance of winning the championship if they beat Italy Saturday, as they have six points, the same as France and Ireland.

However, they will need to beat Italy by more than 50 points if Ireland win their match in Paris, as the Irish have a huge advantage in terms of points difference.

Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tito Tebaldi; 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Joshua Furno, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Matias Aguero.

Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Alberto De Marchi, 19 George Fabio Biagi, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Andrea Masi.