Italy coach Gonzalo Quesada started scrum-half Stephen Varney on Thursday and will be without the injured Ange Capuozzo to face Wales on Saturday (3:15 p.m.) in Cardiff on the 5th and final day of the Six Nations Tournament. nations. Quesada made three changes from the team that beat Scotland (31-29) last weekend to record its first home victory in the Tournament since March 2013.

Born in Wales, Varney (28 caps) was preferred to Martin Page-Relo, who started against France and Scotland. The Gloucester player will form the hinge with Paolo Garbisi: the two players were associated during the defeat against Ireland (36-0 defeat) for the 2nd day.

“Our three scrum halves have different profiles but are of a similar level, but managing the end of the match against the Welsh will be crucial: having a scorer of Martin’s level with his kicking game to finish the match can make the difference », Declared Quesada during a press briefing. Capuozzo, who suffered a broken finger during the match against Scotland, is replaced by Parma full-back Lorenzo Pani (7 caps).

“Ange injured the middle finger of his left hand in the second scrum of the match against Scotland, which did not prevent him from having a great match as he does every time he is on the field,” said -he explained. “We tried to see if he could train with protection, but he will have surgery in France tomorrow Friday,” he added. Injured against England, Lorenzo Cannone (Treviso, 18 caps) returns to the third row in the starting team.

Italy, with a victory, a draw and two defeats, can achieve the best Tournament in its history if it succeeds in Cardiff, but “our team does not feel the pressure,” assured Quesada. “We have a great opportunity, but it will be a very difficult match in a tough atmosphere. We are playing against a whole rugby population, against a team which finds itself in a difficult situation and which will be very motivated, especially as it is George North’s last,” warned the former Argentine international fly-half.

“This will be a real test against a very combative team, we will see how we will react in this context,” continued the former manager of Stade Français who took charge of the Nazionale after the 2023 World Cup. Before the match against Wales (6th, 3 pts), Italy is 5th with seven points.

The composition of Italy:

Pani – Lynagh, Brex, Menoncello, Ioane – (o) P. Garbisi, (m) Page-Varney – L. Cannone, Lamaro (cap.), Negri – Ruzza, N. Cannone – Ferrari, Nicotera, FischettiRemplaçants : Lucchesi, Spagnolo, Zilocchi, Zambonin, Vintcent, Zuliani, Page-Relo, Marin