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US keeps same team for Italy clash

Sep 25, 2011 2:30:39 PM - www.ft.lk

BBC: Italy has made nine changes for the Pool C match against the United States in Nelson on Tuesday.
Nick Mallett’s side, which still have a chance of making the quarter-finals, retain Sergio Parisse, who captains the side for the 34th time.

The United States select the same 22 that beat Russia, before they made 14 changes for the loss to Australia.
Lock Hayden Smith is the only player who keeps his place from the 67-5 defeat by the Wallabies.
Open-side flanker Todd Clever returns to captain the US team, who have lost both their previous games against Italy.
“I’m not saying we’ll beat Italy, that’d be an arrogant thing to say,” said US coach Eddie O’Sullivan said. “But I think we can test Italy and see what they’ve got.
“They are a very good set piece team, very physical, carry the ball aggressively, take it through phases and have a good kicking game. They’re pretty much the full package this time round.”
Italy have used 30 players so far during this World Cup, with hooker Franco Sbaglarini, who was called up to replace the injured Tommaso D’Apice several days ago, the only player yet to feature.
Along with Parisse, the five other players to keep their place from the 53-17 win over Russia are Andrea Masi, Tommaso Benvenuti, Mauro Bergamasco, Salvatore Perugini and Quintin Geldenhuys.
“I had a look at the players against Russia and there were a lot of defensive errors,” said Mallett.
“It was the same backline that played Japan and to concede three tries against Japan and Russia isn’t good enough. If this backline had played against Russia, we would have scored just as many points, but conceded far fewer.”
“If we play well against the USA we can take off some players and I would like to do so. If I have the chance to take off Sergio Parisse or Martin Castrogiovanni at the 60-minute mark I would love to, but I can’t risk the match if the scores are close.”-

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