Italy all-change for final Pool game with France as Faiva and Ceccarelli make first starts

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Italy all-change for final Pool game with France as Faiva and Ceccarelli make first starts
Hame Faiva is set to make his first start at the Rugby World Cup
Hame Faiva is set to make his first start at the Rugby World Cup
Reuters
Hame Faiva (29) and Pietro Ceccarelli (31) make their first starts at the Rugby World Cup as Italy coach Kieran Crowley made five personnel changes for their decisive Pool A clash with France in Lyon on Friday.

After the disastrous 96-17 loss to New Zealand, Crowley has moved Ange Capuozzo from wing to fullback, with Tommaso Allan returning to flyhalf and Paolo Garbisi moving to centre.

With Capuozzo at fullback, Pierre Bruno comes in as wing, with Luca Morisi dropping to the bench to make way for Garbisi at centre.

"Our focus will be on our performance," Crowley said, "We worked during the week thinking about this next game. We want to honour our identity as a team and try to take a step forward."

Hooker Faiva takes over from Giacomo Nicotera, who suffered a head injury against the All Blacks, while prop Ceccarelli comes in for Marco Riccioni who drops to the bench.

The all-new front row is completed as Simone Ferrari comes in for the injured Danilo Fischetti who left the squad on Sunday. Niccolo Cannone replaces lock Dino Lamb, another player struggling with injury after the New Zealand game.

France currently lead Pool A on 13 points going into the final round of games, with New Zealand and Italy both on 10 points. Before Italy meet France on Friday, New Zealand will play Uruguay on Thursday.

Any sort of win for Italy over France should be enough to reach the quarter-final stage for the first time, unless the latter pick up two bonus points (one for losing by seven points or fewer and the other for scoring four tries).

Italy team:

15-Ange Capuozzo, 14-Pierre Bruno, 13-Juan Ignacio Brex, 12-Paolo Garbisi, 11-Montanna Ioane, 10-Tommaso Allan, 9-Stephen Varney, 8-Lorenzo Cannone, 7-Michele Lamaro (captain), 6-Sebastian Negri, 5-Federico Ruzza, 4-Niccolo Cannone, 3-Pietro Ceccarelli, 2-Hame Faiva, 1-Simone Ferrari

Replacements:

16-Marco Manfredi, 17-Federico Zani, 18-Marco Riccioni, 19-David Sisi, 20-Manuel Zuliani, 21-Alessandro Fusco, 22-Luca Morisi, 23-Lorenzo Pani.

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