Martin Castrogiovanni returns to Italy frontrow for Wales game

Tommaso Allan back at outhalf after stint out with injury

Former Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni will return to the Italy team after suspension for Saturday's Six Nations clash against Wales in Cardiff.

The Racing 92 forward received a three-week ban for stamping on Scotland back Duncan Taylor last month, and he features among five changes from the side crushed 58-15 by Ireland last Saturday.

Elsewhere for his final Test match in charge of the Azzurri, head coach Jacques Brunel has called up outhalf Tommaso Allan following his recovery from injury, centre Andrea Pratchetti, who replaces an injured Michele Campagnaro, plus locks Quintin Geldenhuys and Valerio Bernabo.

“The backbone of the team is not different from the one that has played the rest of this tournament,” Brunel said.

“Tommaso knows our game, and he comes back from a long injury, but on his return with Perpignan he has shown that he’s in condition.

“Wales, similar to Ireland, are a team that has the ability to play with great effectiveness.

“We will not give them time and space as in Dublin. It will be crucial to slow down their game at the breakdown and keep the right attitude for all 80 minutes.”

Italy have suffered nine successive defeats against Wales, while last season's Six Nations game between the countries saw Wales run out 61-20 winners in Rome.

ITALY: D Odiete (Mogliano); L Sarto (Zebre), A Pratichetti (Treviso), G Garcia (Zebre), M Bellini (Padova); T Allan (Perpignan), G Palazzani (Zebre); A Lovotti (Zebre), D Giazzon (Treviso), M Castrogiovanni (Racing 92); Q Geldenhuys (Zebre), V Bernabo (Zebre); F Minto (Treviso), A Zanni (Treviso), S Parisse (Stade Francais, capt).

Replacements: O Fabiani (Zebre), M Zanusso (Treviso), D Chistolini (Zebre), J Sarto (Zebre), A Steyn (Treviso), A Lucchese (Treviso), K Haimona (Zebre), L McLean (Treviso).