Newly signed Rodd Penney is named in the Aironi line-up for Saturday’s Magners League game against Edinburgh at Stadio Zaffanella (kick-off at 7.05 pm, 6.05pm Uk time), and will be looking to help his new side to their first Magners League victory.
The New Zealand born Penny, who joined Aironi from Saracens, will play alongside Gilberto Pavan in the centre, whille Giulio Toniolatti and Danwel Demas are on the wing and Julien Laharrague is at fullback. Penney will make his Magners League debut after just a week’s training with his new team-mates.
“I’m pretty excited to be here”, said Penney. “I already knew Fabio (Ongaro) and Matias (Aguero) who are helping me and it looks such a great team to be involved with.
“All the players are very friendly and really welcoming. I’m very happy to have the opportunity to play this week and hopefully against Edinburgh we will do really well and we can play some exciting rugby”.
“I think we have to play with a lot of intensity, Italian teams are known for being very physical and starting the game very fast, so hopefully we can do that. If we can maintain that rhythm for the whole game we should be able to produce a good performance”.
Elsewhere in the team the Tebaldi-Mercier combination return at half back, while in the back row Nick Williams returns after a week off to take the place of injured Gareth Krause. Krause fractured the fifth metatarsus of his left foot during training on Tuesday and will be side lined for the next two months. Benatti and Sole will be the flankers, while in the second row Carlo Del Fava is back to action alongside captain Quintin Geldenhuys. The front row returns to the line up which started the season, with Alberto De Marchi at loosehead, Salvatore Perugini as tight head prop, and Fabio Ongaro hooking.
15 Julien Laharrague; 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Rodd Penney, 12 Gilberto Pavan, 11 Danwel Demas; 10 Ludovic Mercier, 9 Tito Tebaldi; 1 Alberto De Marchi, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 3 Salvatore Perugini; 4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava, 5 Quintin Geldenhuys (cap); 6 Andrea Benatti, 7 Josh Sole, 8 Nick Williams.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Santamaria, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Luca Redolfini, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Jaco Erasmus, 21 Pablo Canavosio, 22 Gabriel Pizarro, 23 Riccardo Bocchino.