Bergamasco starts at No.9 for injury-hit Azzurri

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The Independent Online

Italy coach Nick Mallett has handed Mauro Bergamasco the number nine role for Saturday4s RBS 6 Nations opener against England at Twickenham.

With Pablo Canavosio having failed to recover from a problematic knee and Simone Piccone and Pietro Travagli out for the entire tournament through injury, Mallett revealed he had little choice but to shift the Stade Francais flanker to the number nine role.

The Azzurri welcome back Leicester Tigers prop Martin Castrogiovanni, who returns to the squad after a one-year absence.

Mallett has included uncapped Venezia player Jean-Francois Montauriol in the squad.

Italy team to face England in RBS 6 Nations Championship at Twickenham on Saturday:

A Masi (Biarritz), K Robertson (Viadana), G Canale (Clermont-Auvergne), G Garcia (Calvisano), Mirco Bergamasco (Stade Francais); A Marcato (Benetton Treviso), Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Francais); F Ongaro (Saracens), S Perugini (Stade Toulousain), M Castrogiovanni (Leicester), S Dellape (Toulon), M Bortolami (Gloucester), J Sole (Viadana), A Zanni (Calvisano), S Parisse (Stade Francais),

Replacements: C Festuccia (Racing Metro Paris), C Nieto (Gloucester), T Reato (Femi Rovigo), J-F Montauriol (Venezia), G Toniolatti (Capitolina), L McLean (Calvisano), M Pratichetti (Calvisano).

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