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Bortolami selected to skipper Italy

Veteran lock Marco Bortolami will captain Italy in Saturday's RBS Six Nations game against Ireland in Dublin.

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has left skipper Sergio Parisse out of the squad in the hope he will recover from a thigh injury in time to face England in Rome on March 15.

Benetton Treviso's Robert Barbieri will take Parisse's place at number eight.

Bortolami, a former Italy captain, is alongside Paul Derbyshire and Luciano Orquera in a trio of players that Azzurri coach Brunel has promoted to the starting XV having all been benched against Scotland.

Derbyshire replaces injured flanker Alessandro Zanni, who sustained a knee injury in Italy's 21-20 loss to Scotland in Rome two weeks ago.

Tito Tebaldi returns to the Italy fold for the first time since June 2012 and will start at scrum-half.

Prop Michele Rizzo is also included among the relacements after serving a three-week suspension for head-butting an opponent.

Treviso flanker Manoa Vosawai and London Wasps centre Andrea Masi also make the cut.

The Italians go into the encounter at the Aviva Stadium looking for their first win in the competition after three-straight defeats.

The Azzurri have not beaten Ireland in Dublin since a 37-29 victory in January 1997.

Italy team to face Ireland: L McLean (Treviso), A Esposito (Treviso), M Campagnaro (Treviso), G Garcia (Zebre), L Sarto (Zebre), L Orquera (Zebre), T Tebaldi (Ospreys); A De Marchi (Treviso), L Ghiraldini (Treviso), M Castrogiovanni (Toulon), Q Geldenhuys (Zebre), M Bortolami (Zebre), Joshua Furno (Biarritz), P Derbyshire (Treviso), R Barbieri (Treviso).

Replacements: D Giazzon (Zebre), M Rizzo (Treviso), L Cittadini (Treviso), A Pavanello (Treviso), M Vosawai (Treviso), E Gori (Treviso), T Allan (Perpignan), A Masi (London Wasps).


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