Nick Mallett, the Italy coach, has handed Benetton Treviso's Kristopher Burton the No 10 shirt for tomorrow's Six Nations game against Ireland at Rome's Flaminio Stadium. The Australia-born fly-half replaces Craig Gower, who is out for the entire tournament with a knee injury, while Burton's club team-mate Alessandro Zanni will replace the veteran Mauro Bergamasco at No 7.
Bergamasco is out of the Six Nations, having suffered a shoulder injury back in November. Mallett has also given the Treviso scrum-half Edoardo Gori a place in his starting XV. The 20-year-old made a big impression against Fiji in Italy's final Test of last year, which the Azzurri won 24-16.
Italy will be bolstered by the return of captain Sergio Parisse, who missed last year's Six Nations with a serious knee injury and watched as Italy suffered four defeats in five games. Parisse has established himself as one of Europe's best back-rowers.
The Scotland centre Joe Ansbro has agreed a three-year deal with London Irish. Ansbro, who will make his Six Nations debut against France tomorrow, will move to Irish from Northampton this summer.
Scotland, who left Edinburgh for Paris yesterday, have not prevailed in the French capital since 1999, but have won five of their last six Tests.
Nick de Luca, who is restored at centre alongside Ansbro following an ankle injury to Graeme Morrison, was unaware of Scotland's recent failure to win in Paris. "We can't account for nine years ago, five years ago – a lot of the boys weren't involved," De Luca said. "We're going well. We've got five out of six wins, we're confident and we're looking to continue that.
"Last year we finished strongly, but started poorly. We're looking for a much-improved start to set us up for hopefully a successful tournament. Graeme's been going well in a Scotland jersey, especially in the autumn," he added. "I've got shoes to fill there."Reuse content