Six Nations: Italy v Ireland - Italy player profiles

Patrick Madden profiles Conor O’Shea’s starting XV for the Rome game

Braam Streyn moves to number eight in place of the injured Sergio Parisse. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Braam Streyn moves to number eight in place of the injured Sergio Parisse. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

 

15 Jayden Hayward (Treviso)
Age: 32
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 91kg (14st, 5lbs)
Caps: 14
The son of Taranaki faced his native All Blacks last year, and has been a regular since qualifying in 2017. An assured presence, he reads the game and kicks well.

14 Edoardo Padovani (Zebre)
Age: 25
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 100kg (15st 10lbs)
Caps: 17
Padovani, who plies his trade at fullback for Zebre, returned to the Azzurri side for the Wales clash on the wing, scoring late on after a smart finish. Also scored from the bench in Edinburgh.

13 Michele Campagnaro (Wasps)
Age: 25
Height: 6’
Weight: 94kg (14st, 11lbs)
Caps: 40
A talented footballer, Campagnaro played on the wing against Scotland before switching back to a more familiar midfield berth for Wales, where he performed well.

12 Luca Morisi (Treviso)
Age: 28
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 97kg (15st, 4lbs)
Caps: 22
Morisi featured against Ireland in Chicago last November and has kept his place since, fulfilling a defensive midfield role in Italy’s opening Six Nations fixtures.

11 Angelo Esposito (Treviso)
Age: 25
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 98kg (15st, 6lbs)
Caps: 17
Some of Italy’s brightest moments have come through Esposito on the wing - the Benetton flyer has an excellent eye for a gap and the pace to match.

10 Tommaso Allan (Treviso)
Age: 25
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 87kg (13st, 10lbs)
Caps: 45
Has a good number of caps for his age, but Allan has only really made the number 10 jersey his own over the last 18 months. He offers control and vision at first receiver.

9 Tito Tebaldi (Treviso)
Age: 31
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 88kg (13st 10lbs)
Caps: 29
Five years since he last played a Six Nations game but has experience and will expose any holes on the fringes at the breakdown.

1 Andrea Lovotti (Zebre)
Age: 29
Height: 6’
Weight: 113kg (17st, 11lbs)
Caps: 31
Lovotti has recovered from the flu to return at loosehead, after missing the defeat to Wales. Struggled to have much influence a week earlier against Scotland.

2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (Toulouse)
Age: 34
Height: 6’
Weight: 99kg (15st, 8lbs)
Caps: 101
Italy’s old warhorse hooker leads the tackle charts after two games, with 32. Now a centurion, he will lead in the absence of his old mate Sergio Parisse.

3 Simone Ferrari (Treviso)
Age: 24
Height: 6’
Weight: 121kg (19st, 1lbs)
Caps: 19
Ferrari is now a regular starter for the Azzurri, and is making his third appearance of the Championship, after two honest if unspectacular performances thus far.

4 Federico Ruzza (Treviso)
Age: 24
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 108kg (17st)
Caps: 9
Gets his first start in this season’s tournament after twice impressing off the bench. A decent athlete and a good carrier.

5 Dean Budd (Treviso)
Age: 32
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 108kg (17st)
Caps: 18
Treviso captain Budd is another Italian-qualified Kiwi who was given his Test debut by O’Shea in 2017. A good all-rounder in the engine room he’s also a reliable lineout option.

6 Jimmy Tuivaiti (Zebre)
Age: 31
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 109kg (17st 2lbs)
Caps: 2
The Auckland-born flanker made his international debut off the bench against Ireland in Chicago. He joined Zebre last year following three seasons with Calvisano.

7 Maxime Mbanda (Zebre)
Age: 25
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 102kg (16st, 1lb)
Caps: 15
Mbanda makes his long-awaited 2019 Six Nations debut, as he continues on the comeback trail from a serious knee injury. Athletic option and a relentless tackler.

8 Braam Steyn (Treviso)
Age: 26
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 110kg (17st 5lbs)
Caps: 27
The Italian backrow helped slow Wales down and Steyn was a cornerstone of this, making 20 tackles and burrowing over for a try.

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