Preview: Wallabies v Italy

Preview: Wallabies v Italy

Italy will travel to Brisbane this Saturday for the third and final mid season test for Australia. Can Australia restore some pride in the jersey or is another upset on the cards.

Over the last two weekends Australia beat Fiji in Melbourne before losing to Scotland in Sydney. Over the same period Italy have lost to Scotland in Singapore and then Fiji in Suva.

Michael Cheika has shuffled the squad with Rob Horne replacing Tevita Kuridrani at outside centre. Jack Dempsey is the only debutante, earning a bench place at Richard Hardwick’s expense. Lopeti Timani steps into the number eight jersey as Scott Higginbotham is dropped from the twenty three.

Jack Dempsey

Dynamic backrower Jack Dempsey will debut from the bench

Italy coach Conor O’Shea has made three changes to last weekend’s team. Scrumhalf Tito Tebaldi is starting for the first time in three years, backrower Andries Van Schalkwyk moves to no. 8 and Marco Lazzaroni will earn his first cap via the bench.


Italian fly half Tomasso Allan getting grabbed by Sia Faingaa in 2011.


While the Wallabies were far from impressive against the Scots, Italy should pose an easier task. In saying that if it’s close late in the game Australia’s mental fragility may well be exposed.

I’m still going with the Wallabies by 16.


1. Scott Sio (31 Tests)
2. Stephen Moore (c) (119 Tests)
3. Allan Alaalatoa (11 Tests)
4. Rory Arnold (11 Tests)
5. Adam Coleman (11 Tests)
6. Ned Hanigan (2 Tests)
7. Michael Hooper (67 Tests)
8. Lopeti Timani (6 Tests)
9. Will Genia (77 Tests)
10. Bernard Foley (44 Tests)
11. Sefa Naivalu (6 Tests)
12. Karmichael Hunt (2 Tests)
13. Rob Horne (33 Tests)
14. Dane Haylett-Petty (16 Tests)
15. Israel Folau (54 Tests)


16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (70 Tests)
17. Toby Smith (5 Tests)
18. Sekope Kepu (79 Tests)
19. Sam Carter (15 Tests)
20. Jack Dempsey*
21. Joe Powell (1 Test)
22. Quade Cooper (69 Tests)
23. Reece Hodge (12 Tests)

* Indicates uncapped players


1. Andrea Lovotti
2. Luca Bigi
3. Simone Ferrari
4. Marco Fuser
5. Dean Budd
6. Francesco Minto
7. Maxime Mbanda
8. Dries van Schalkwyk
9. Tito Tebaldi
10. Tommaso Allan
11. Giovanbattista Venditti
12. Tommaso Boni
13. Michele Campagnaro
14. Angelo Esposito
15. Edoardo Padovani


16. Ornel Gega
17. Federico Zani
18. Pietro Ceccarelli
19. Marco Lazzaroni*
20. Braam Steyn
21. Edoardo Gori
22. Carlo Canna
23. Tommaso Benvenuti


Venue: Suncorp Stadium Brisbane

Kickoff:  3pm local time, Saturday 24th June.

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistants: Wayne Barnes (England), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)


Mostly behind a lens, sometimes in front of a keyboard.

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