Six Nations 2017: Conor O'Shea makes Italy changes to face Wales

Conor O'Shea
Conor O'Shea is on the brink of his first Six Nations as Italy coach
Six Nations: Italy v Wales
Date: Sunday, 5 February Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary

Coach Conor O'Shea has made five changes from the Italy team that beat South Africa in November for their Six Nations opener against Wales on Sunday.

Flankers Maxime Mata Mbanda and Abraham Steyn, lock George Biagi and prop Andrea Lovotti come in up front.

Edoardo Gori comes in at scrum-half as the only back division change.

Italy were without captain Sergio Parisse when they lost to Tonga 19-17, a week after making history with their win over the Springboks.

Wales in the 2017 Six Nations
Sunday, 5 February, 14:00 GMT, Stadio Olimpico: Italy v Wales
Saturday, 11 February, 16:50 GMT, Principality Stadium: Wales v England
Saturday, 25 February, 14:25 GMT, Murrayfield: Scotland v Wales
Friday, 10 March, 20:05 GMT, Principality Stadium: Wales v Ireland
Saturday, 18 March, 14:45 GMT, Stade d France: France v Wales

There are no uncapped players in the Italian squad this weekend as Parisse returns to lead the side and win his 122nd Test cap.

Wales name their team on Thursday with lock Luke Charteris having been ruled out and a major doubt over the fitness of number eight Taulupe Faletau.

Italy: Edoardo Padovani (Zebre); Giulio Bisegni (Zebre), Tommaso Benvenuti (Treviso), Luke McLean (Treviso), Giovanbattista Venditti (Zebre), Carlo Canna (Zebre), Edoardo Gori (Treviso); Andrea Lovotti (Zebre), Ornel Gega (Treviso), Lorenzo Cittadini (Bayonne), Marco Fuser (Treviso), George Biagi (Zebre), Abraham Steyn (Treviso), Maxime Mata Mbanda (Zebre), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais Paris, capt).

Replacements: Leonardo Ghiraldini (Toulouse), Sami Panico (Calvisano), Pietro Ceccarelli (Zebre), Joshua Furno (Zebre), Francesco Minto (Treviso), Giorgio Bronzini (Treviso), Tommaso Allan (Treviso), Michele Campagnaro (Exeter Chiefs).

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