Aironi Rugby have named their team to face Ospreys on Saturday at Liberty Stadium (kick-off at 6.30) in round four of the Magners League.
After a busy first three weeks of the season the coaching staff have decided to rest some players while Danwel Demas switches from the wing to fullback, and Gareth Krause takes the place of Nick Williams at No. 8.
In the backs, Giulio Toniolatti starts on the wing, while other wing Giulio Rubini and centres Gabriel Pizarro and Gilberto Pavan all retain their places. There is an all Italian half back pairing with Riccardo Bocchino and Michael Wilson playing together for the first time.
With Krause at No. 8, the back row will be completed by Andrea Benatti and Josh Sole, who plays for the first time after injury.
Former Italy captain Marco Bortolami appears for the first time this season in the starting squad in the second row alongside Aironi captain Quintin Geldenhuys. The other two changes are in the front row with Luca Redolfini playing at tighthead prop and Luigi Ferraro at hooker. Salvatore Perugini completes the front row at loosehead.
Prop Ulises Gamboa, signed last week, finds a place in the bench with Ongaro, Alberto De Marchi, Furno, Cattina, Canavosio, Laharrague and Benettin.
Amongst the Aironi coaching staff is someone who knows the Ospreys team well. Rowland Phillips was part of the Welsh regions’ coaching staff when Ospreys arrived in the Celtic League: “There are a lot of similar circumstances at Aironi which we had at Ospreys eight years ago: new team, a lot of new players and a lot of problems that we also had initially at the Ospreys. You must give an identity to the team, the players and the coaching staff that had to work as a group with a common goal. We are going through it now, but we can appreciate everyone’s hard work.
“Ospreys are a talented squad with a huge amount of players, and a lot of international experience. As a result they will be favourites to win the Magners League. Going to the Ospreys as a back to back away game after Scarlets is going to test our mental strength and our attitude.”
15 Danwel Demas; 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Gilberto Pavan, 12 Gabriel Pizarro, 11 Giulio Rubini; 10 Riccardo Bocchino, 9 Michael Wilson; 1 Salvatore Perugini, 2 Luigi Ferraro, 3 Luca Redolfini; 4 Marco Bortolami, 5 Quintin Geldenhuys (cap); 6 Andrea Benatti, 7 Josh Sole, 8 Gareth Krause.
16 Leonardo Ulises Gamboa, 17 Fabio Ongaro, 18 Alberto De Marchi, 19 Joshua Furno, 20 Nicola Cattina, 21 Pablo Canavosio, 22 Julien Laharrague, 23 Alberto Benettin.