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Preview: Italy Women v South Africa Women

Preview: Italy Women v South Africa Women

Italy Women’s manager Andrea Di Giandomenico has changed just one player from the side that beat Scotland as the Azzurre gear up to face South Africa on Sunday.

Italy Women’s manager Andrea Di Giandomenico has changed just one player from the side that beat Scotland as the Azzurre gear up to face South Africa on Sunday.

Valeria Fedrighi comes in at lock to replace the unavailable Valentina Ruzza but Sunday’s other 14 starters all began the impressive 38-0 victory over the Scots in Calvisano at the beginning of the month.

At Prato’s Enrico Chersoni Stadium the Azzurre get the chance to go for an unbeaten autumn and build on that early-November success in advance of the 2019 Women’s Six Nations.

Watch Italy v South Africa live on Facebook or on YouTube here

The 67-times-capped Manuela Furlan skippers the side from full-back and will look to provide creative input from No.15 once again, as she did in that expansive six-try win.

Outside centre Michela Sillari dazzled the crowds with a hat-trick against Scotland and will look to add to her tally against South Africa, as will the other try scorers from that day – second row Giordana Duca and No.8 Elisa Giordano.

The Springbok Women’s team, meanwhile, are looking to finish their tour on a high note after going down 17-5 against Spain in Villajoyosa last weekend.

That game followed a 19-5 defeat to Wales in Cardiff and the tour’s opening win over the UK Armed Forces in Richmond, London.

South Africa are bolstered by the presence of experienced captain Nolusindiso Booi after the skipper recovered from a knee injury, she starts at lock.

The return of Booi to the starting line-up is one of three personnel changes, with the others being the inclusion of Bernice Strydom in the second row and Katlego Moremi coming in at tighthead prop.

Moremi replaces Thantaswa Macingwane in the front row, with the latter being named among the replacements.

As a result of this change, Babalwa Latsha moves to loosehead prop – the other positional switch sees Sinazo Mcatshulwa move from lock to flanker.

Italy Women v South Africa Women, 13:30 BST, Sunday 25 November, Stadio Enrico Chersoni – Prato

Andrea Di Giandomenico (Italy manager) said: “This match offers us the opportunity to build on the good win against Scotland and work on areas where we have to make improvements ahead of the Six Nations.

“The challenge of South Africa will give us indications also from the point of view of character. 

“We will have to be able to develop our game in speed without giving them the chance to compete on breakdowns. We are calm, we have worked well during the week.”

Stanley Raubenheimer (South Africa coach) said: “What makes Italy different from other teams we have faced is that they are more expansive in their approach. They enjoy throwing the ball around, so we need to be sharp on defence.

“The most important thing for me going into this Test is to see us improve on our last performance. If we can do one or two things better than last week against Spain, we could work our way into a position to win.

“The team has a deep desire to win, and they are very focused on that.”

Stat Watch:
– Italy scrum-half Sara Barattin is the side’s most-capped player with 87 appearances.
– South Africa only named six capped players in the 28-member squad that embarked on their European tour.

Italy: 15. Manuela Furlan, 14. Aura Muzzo, 13. Michela Sillari, 12. Jessica Busato, 11. Sofia Stefan, 10. Veronica Madia, 9. Sara Barattin, 1. Gaia Giacomoli, 2. Melissa Bettoni, 3. Lucia Gai, 4. Valeria Fedrighi, 5. Giordana Duca, 6. Ilaria Arrighetti, 7. Giada Franco, 8. Elisa Giordano
Replacements: 16. Silvia Turani, 17. Eleonora Ricci, 18. Sara Tounesi, 19. Miriam Pagani, 20. Francesca Sberna, 21. Micol Cavina, 22. Annamaria Gizzi, 23. Camilla Sarasso
South Africa: 15. Vuyolwethu Maqholo, 14. Nosiphiwo Goda, 13. Zintle Mpupha, 12. Demi Nel, 11. Alana-Lee Horne, 10. Kirsten Conrad, 9. Tayla Kinsey, 1. Babalwa Latsha, 2. Lindelwa Gwala, 3. Katlego Moremi, 4. Bernice Strydom, 5. Nolusindiso Booi (c), 6. Lusanda Dumke, 7. Sinazo Mcatshulwa, 8. Aseza Hele
Replacements: 16. Annique Geswind, 17. Thantaswa Macingwane, 18. Nthabiseng Marutla, 19. Karthy Dludla, 20. Charmaine Kayser, 21. Pennbry McNamara, 22. Fundiswa Plaatjie, 23. Snenhlanhla Shozi