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Italy bring in duo ahead of Six Nations clash with England

Published 09/02/2016

Robert Barbieri, foreground, replaces Jacopo Sarto in Italy's squad
Robert Barbieri, foreground, replaces Jacopo Sarto in Italy's squad

Italy have called Robert Barbieri and the uncapped Andrea Buondonno into their squad as injury cover ahead of Sunday's RBS 6 Nations match against England.

Full-back David Odiete suffered a sprained ankle in Saturday's defeat against France while f lanker Jacopo Sarto missed the game with a hamstring injury.

George Biagi is another doubt to face England with a thigh problem and will be assessed during the week.

While Biagi remains in the squad, Mogliano back Buondonno has taken the place of Odiete and Treviso's Barbieri replaces Sarto in the 30-man group.

A statement from the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) read: "Odiete, who made his debut in the number 15 jersey on Saturday, was subjected to X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

"They showed a sprained left ankle with partial ligament damage and bone bruising. He is expected to be available in two weeks and was replaced by his uncapped Marchiol Mogliano club-mate Andrea Buondonno.

"Jacopo Sarto, absent in France, is still suffering with a hamstring muscle problem. Replacing him is Benetton Treviso flanker Robert Barbieri, who has 39 appearances for the national team.

"The progress of the rectus femoris muscle trauma suffered by George Biagi will be assessed over the course of the week with regards to his possible availability against the Red Rose."

Davide Giazzon is again preferred to Leonardo Ghiraldini as the back-up to hooker Ornel Gega, who made his debut against France.

Italy squad to face England in Rome on Sunday:

Backs: E Gori (Treviso), G Palazzani (Zebre), C Canna, E Padovani (both Zebre), M Bellini (Petrarca), G Bisegni (Zebre), A Buondonno (Mogliano), M Campagnaro (Exeter), T Castello (Calvisano), G Garcia, K Haimona (both Zebre), L McLean, A Pratichetti (both Treviso), L Sarto (Zebre).

Forwards: M Castrogiovanni (Racing 92), D Chistolini (Zebre), L Cittadini (Wasps), A Lovotti (Zebre), M Zanusso, O Gega, D Giazzon (all Treviso), V Bernabo, G Biagi (both Zebre), M Fuser, R Barbieri, F Minto (all Treviso), S Parisse (capt, Stade Francais), A Steyn (Treviso), A Van Schalkwyk (Zebre), A Zanni (Treviso).

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