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Parisse returns for Italy

Sergio Parisse returns from suspension to captain an Italy side featuring seven changes for their RBS 6 Nations game against England.

Parisse's ban for swearing at a referee was reduced at a French Rugby Federation appeal hearing earlier this week, clearing the Azzurri talisman to start at Twickenham.

Italy head coach Jacques Brunel has changed half his pack following their capitulation in the 26-9 defeat to Wales in Rome. In addition to Parisse's return, Robert Barbieri takes over from Simone Favaro at openside flanker and Italy will have a new second partnership of Joshua Furno and Quintin Geldenhuys.

Alberto de Marchi takes over at loosehead prop with Andrea Lo Cicero, who has made 101 appearances for Italy, dropping to the bench.

Luciano Orquera, the architect of Italy's victory over France in the opening round of the championship, is restored at fly-half while Gonzalo Canale will link up with Gonzalo Garcia in midfield.

Italy team: A Masi (Wasps); G Venditti (Aironi); G Canale (Clermont-Auvergne); G Garcia (Zebre); L McLean (Benetton Treviso); L Orquera (Zebre); E Gori (Benetton Treviso); A de Marchi (Benetton Treviso); L Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso); M Castrogiovanni (Leicester); Q Geldenhuys (Aironi); J Furno (RC Narbonne); A Zanni (Benetton Treviso); R Barbieri (Benetton Treviso); S Parisse (Stade Francais, capt).

Replacements: D Giazzon (Zebre); A Lo Cicero (Racing Metro); L Cittadini (Benetton Treviso); A Pavanello (Benetton Treviso); F Minto (Benetton Treviso); S Favaro (Aironi); T Botes (Benetton Treviso); T Benvenuti (Benetton Treviso).


From Belfast Telegraph