Giulio Toniolatti, Tyson Keats and Joshua Furno return to the Aironi squad as the Italian franchise prepare to host Connacht at Stadio Zaffanella for RaboDirect PRO12 round 13 (kick-off tomorrow, Saturday at 4:35 pm Italian time, live on Rai and TG4). Scottish referee Andrew McMenemy will officiate the game.
Toniolatti, who became a father for the first time last week, returns on the right wing with Sinoti Sinoti switching to the opposite side. Andrea Masi at fullback is joined by Roberto Quartaroli and Gabriel Pizarro in the centres, completing the back line.
In the halves, after two weeks off, Tyson Keats is back at scrum-half alongside Luciano Orquera, who has kicked 12 of the last 13 attempts.
In the pack the only change is lock Joshua Furno returning to pair up with captain Marco Bortolami.
A lot of experience is on the bench with Salvatore Perugini, Mauro Bergamasco, Quintin Geldenhuys and Tito Tebaldi all in the replacements.
Aironi look for their third win of the season, taking advantage of the home field. In this season so far at Stadio Zaffanella the Italian side has collected two wins (against Edinburgh and Treviso) and two bonus points (against Ulster and Cardiff).
A win tomorrow can also allow Aironi to leave the bottom of the table if Newport lose to the Ospreys tonight. “I don’t know these stats. What I just know is that we need to win and we want to do it, even just 3-0, it doesn’t matter. But if we want to beat Connacht we must play with the same anger we showed in the win against Treviso”, said Aironi centre Gabriel Pizarro.
AIRONI: 15 Andrea Masi; 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Gabriel Pizarro, 11 Sinoti Sinoti; 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tyson Keats; 8 Josh Sole, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Nicola Cattina; 5 Marco Bortolami (cap), 4 Joshua Furno; 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Roberto Santamaria, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D’Apice, 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Lorenzo Romano, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Mauro Bergamasco, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Naas Olivier, 23 Alberto Benettin. Coach: Rowland Phillips.