Italy make 2 changes for 2nd test vs. Japan
TOKYO (AP) Italy coach Conor O’Shea has made two changes to his starting lineup for Saturday’s second rugby test against Japan.
Jayden Hayward returns at fullbck, pushing Matteo Minozzie to the left wing in place of the injured Mattias Bellini.
Among the forwards, Jake Polledri takes over at open side flanker from Giovanni Licata.
Leonardo Ghiraldini will again captain Italy from hooker in his 96th test, combining in the front row with Tiziano Pasquali and Andrea Lovotti. Lock Alessandro Zanni, in his 106th test, moves up to fourth place on Italy’s all-time list of test appearances.
In contast, prop Cherif Traore has been named to make his test debut from the bench.
Japan leads the two test series 1-0 after winning the first test 34-17 but Italy retains a 5-2 lead in test matches between the countries.
Italy: Jayden Hayward, Tommaso Benvenuti, Michele Campagnaro, Tommaso Castello, Matteo Minozzi, Tommaso Allan, Marcello Violi; Abraham Steyn, Jake Polledri, Sebastian Negri, Dean Budd, Alessandro Zanni, Tiziano Pasquali, Leonardo Ghiraldini (captain), Andrea Lovotti. Reserves: Luca Bigi, Cherif Traore, Simone Ferrari, Marco Fuser, Giovanni Licata, Tito Tebaldi, Carlo Canna, Giulio Bisegni.