Rugby: Fearless Italy seek to conquer All Blacks 'Everest'

Both sides ring changes for Rome test

Rugby: Fearless Italy seek to conquer All Blacks 'Everest'

Rome, November 15 - Italy coach Jacques Brunel said Thursday that he wants his men to show no fear when they face world champions New Zealand in Rome on Saturday and called on them to conquer a sporting 'Everest' by notching a historic first-ever win over the mighty All Blacks. "It'll be an important match for us to be able to see how good we are with respect to the best team in the world, whether we are near or far," Frenchman Brunel told a press conference. "The match against Australia next week in Florence will be too, but the All Blacks today are the biggest test to understand what direction our work has to go in. "I want to see a team that go and challenge the All Blacks without fear. "New Zealand are the Everest of rugby," added Brunel, whose side beat Tonga 28-23 last week in their first November test. "We are mountaineers who have to climb the most difficult mountain without fear. "We're going out to impose our game, not to have the game imposed on us. We didn't do that against Tonga, but imposing our play remains this team's goal". The Azzurri have never beaten the All Blacks in 12 encounters although they caused them trouble the last time the teams met, a 20-6 win for New Zealand at Milan's San Siro stadium in 2009. Both sides have rung the changes for Saturday's match at what should be a packed Stadio Olimpico. Italy have made eight changes. Mirco Bergamasco, who missed the Tonga win with a hamstring problem, comes in on the left wing for Luke McLean. Giovanbattista Venditti replaces Tommaso Iannone on the right wing. Luciano Orquera takes over at fly-half from Kris Burton and Edoardo Gori returns at scrum half in the place of Tobias Botes. Simone Favaro takes over as openside flanker from Robert Barbieri and Francesco Minto and Antonio Pavanello come in for Joshua Furno and Quintin Geldenhuys in the second row. Tighthead prop Martin Castrogiovanni starts in place of Lorenzo Cittadini. New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has also overhauled his side after they beat Scotland 51-22 last weekend. The biggest change is that World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw has withdrawn from the tour squad after leading the All Blacks to victory over the Scots. Hansen wants to give McCaw some rest and in the process start looking at options for his long-term replacement as captain. His place on the open side has gone to Sam Cane, while number eight Kieran Read takes over as captain. Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Francesco Minto, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero. Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Mauro Bergamasco, 21 Robert Barbieri, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 Luke McLean. New Zealand: 15-Beauden Barrett, 14-Hosea Gear, 13-Conrad Smith, 12-Ma'a Nonu, 11-Julian Savea, 10-Aaron Cruden, 9-Aaron Smith, 8-Kieran Read (captain), 7-Sam Cane, 6-Liam Messam, 5-Brodie Retallick, 4-Ali Williams, 3-Charlie Faumuina, 2-Keven Mealamu, 1-Tony Woodcock. Replacements: 16-Dane Coles, 17-Wyatt Crockett, 18-Ben Franks, 19-Sam Whitelock, 20-Victor Vito, 21-Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22-Daniel Carter, 23-Cory Jane.

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