Italy v South Africa, Udine, November 21
Du Preez to debut in Udine
November 19, 2009
Italy coach Nick Mallett looks to the heavens, Italy v New Zealand, San Siro Stadium, Milan, Italy, November 14, 2009
Italy boss Nick Mallett has rung the changes for his side's meeting with South Africa © Getty Images
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Italy coach Nick Mallett has wielded the axe ahead of his side's meeting with South Africa in Udine on Saturday, with Mauro Bergamasco, Tito Tebaldi, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Kaine Robertson and Gonzalo Canale all dropping out of the starting XV.

In the backs, Alberto Sgarbi joins Gonzalo Garcia in the centre, while Simon Picone slots in at scrum-half alongside Craig Gower. The third change comes on the wing, where Matteo Pratichetti starts in place of Robertson, who drops out of the 22. In the pack, experienced Saracens hooker Fabio Ongaro gets the nod ahead of Ghiraldini and there is a shake-up in the back-row.

Talismanic skipper Sergio Parisse starts at No.8 but Alessandro Zanni shifts from the blindside to the openside berth vacated by Bergamasco. The blindside spot is filled by Simone Favaro.

Cheetahs prop Wian du Preez will make his Springbok debut. Du Preez is joined in the front-row by skipper John Smit and recalled hooker Adriaan Strauss. Strauss takes the place of injured Sharks No.2 Bismarck du Plessis, while Tendai Mtawarira makes way for du Preez.

Two further changes come in the pack, where Danie Rossouw slots in to the back-row in place of the injured Schalk Burger and Andries Bekker replaces a rested Victor Matfield. Matfield takes a place on the bench alongside potential new caps Francois Hougaard and Jean Deysel.

Italy: Luke McLean, Matteo Pratichetti, Alberto Sgarbi, Gonzalo Garcia, Mirco Bergamasco, Craig Gower, Simon Picone; Salvatore Perugini, Fabio Ongaro , Martin Castrogiovanni, Carlo Antonio Del Fava , Quintin Geldenhuys , Simone Favaro, Alessandro Zanni , Sergio Parisse (capt),

Replacements: Leonardo Ghiraldini, Ignacio Rouyet, Antonio Pavanello, Josh Sole, Mauro Bergamasco, Tito Tebaldi, Gonzalo Canale

South Africa: Zane Kirchner (Bulls); JP Pietersen (Sharks), Jaque Fourie (Lions), Adi Jacobs (Sharks), Bryan Habana (Stormers); Morne Steyn (Bulls), Fourie du Preez (Bulls); Ryan Kankowski (Sharks), Danie Rossouw (Bulls), Heinrich Brussow (Cheetahs), Andries Bekker (Stormers), Bakkies Botha (Bulls), John Smit (capt, Sharks), Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs), Wian du Preez (Cheetahs)

Replacements: Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), BJ Botha (Ulster), Victor Matfield (Bulls), Jean Deysel (Sharks), Francois Hougaard (Bulls), Ruan Pienaar (Sharks), Wynand Olivier (Bulls)


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