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Rugby: Italy make three changes for Ireland clash

Lo Cicero in starting XV for what may be last international

Rugby: Italy make three changes for Ireland clash

Rome, March 14 - Coach Jacques Brunel has made three changes to his starting line-up for Italy's final Six Nations match against Ireland in Rome on Saturday. Prop Andrea Lo Cicero, 36, returns to the starting XVI after coming on as a replacement in last week's 18-11 defeat in England to make his 102nd appearance and become the Azzurri's all-time most capped player. Lo Cicero, who replaces Alberto De Marchi, is expected to announce his retirement from international rugby after Saturday's match. The other two changes were enforced by injury. Lorenzo Cittadini comes in for prop Martin Castrogiovanni, who came off against England with a muscle strain, and openside flanker Simone Favaro takes over from Robert Barbieri, who also suffered a knock at Twickenham. Italy need to beat Ireland to be sure to avoid finishing last. They will be buoyed by their strong performance in London, where they gave Grand Slam-chasing England a nasty scare, after disappointing defeats to Wales and Scotland. Italy are fifth in the table with the two points they earned by stunning France 23-18 on the opening day. Italy: Andrea Masi, Giovanbattista Venditti, Gonzalo Canale, Gonzalo Garcia, Luke McLean, Luciano Orquera, Edoardo Gori; Sergio Parisse (capt), Simone Favaro, Alessandro Zanni, Joshua Furno, Quintin Geldenhuys, Leonardo Cittadini, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Andrea Lo Cicero. Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Michele Rizzo, Alberto De Marchi, Antonio Pavanello, Francesco Minto, Paul Derbyshire, Tobias Botes, Tommaso Benvenuti.

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