November 16, 2017 / 1:47 PM / a year ago

O’Shea opts for consistency in Italy team to face Pumas

(Reuters) - Italy opted for consistency on Thursday as they named an unchanged side to take on Argentina in Florence on Saturday after a narrow win over Fiji last weekend.

Italy did change two players on the bench with Federico Zani coming in for Marco Lazzaroni and Edoardo Gori being replaced by Tito Tebaldi.

“I know this is a difficult choice for the six players in the squad that have not yet had an opportunity in these November tests,” said coach Conor O’Shea.

“But after the Fiji game we wanted to keep consistency in our choices, especially for a game such as the one against the Pumas that will be, in every respect, much more challenging and difficult to deal with.”

Italy were 19-10 winners over Fiji in Catania last Saturday and play South Africa next weekend in Padova.

They last met Argentina on O’Shea’s debut as coach in June 2016, when the Pumas narrowly won 30-24 in Santa Fe.

Team: 15-Jayden Hayward, 14-Leonardo Sarto, 13-Tommaso Boni, 12-Tomasso Castello, 11-Mattia Bellini, 10-Carlo Canna, 9-Marcello Violi, 8-Sergio Parisse (captain), 7-Abraham Steyn, 6-Francesco Minto, 5-Dean Budd, 4-Marco Fuser, 3-Simone Ferrari, 2-Luca Bigi, 1-Andrea Lovotti Replacements: 16-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17-Federico Zani, 18-Dario Chistolini, 19-Federico Ruzza, 20-Giovanni Licara, 21-Tito Tebaldi, 22-Ian McKinley, 23-Matteo Minozzi.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis

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