Plebiscito Stadium sold out three days in advance for the first Azzurra challenge of the Autumn Nations Series which, in the space of a month, bring the powers of the South to visit Europe. And above all to see Samoa and its warriors announcing themselves dancing the Siva Tau, an aboriginal dance more gentle than the Maori haka. But the pleasantries will end there, at the whistle of the English referee Christophe Ridley.
On Thursday 3 November, coaches Kieran Crowley and Seilala Mapusua announced the line-ups. On Friday 4 at 11 the captain’s run (finishing) at the Plebiscito for Lamaro and his companions and to have the players Paolo Garbisi (who knows them well) and Tommaso Allan take the measurements of the field.
The Samoans, captained by Michael Ala’alatoa (right prop of Leinster Dublin in Urc), however, will not go there but will remain guests of Petrarca. For the players it will not be a damage: the central field of the Guizza has the exact dimensions to the centimeter of the Plebiscito, so Andrea Marcato made him “mark” to train the “tuttoneri”.
Forget the old image of Samoa: it is an almost totally European national team. In summary 14 of the French Top 14, 7 of the English Premiership, 7 of the Super rugby, a former All Blacks and the “Irish” captain.
Crowley makes the continuity of the group seen in action both in Cardiff (triumph) and in Batumi (thud) the main road. However, there are returns, a pair of good feet (a left and a right) and two rookies, one of which is called to the test of fire: Lorenzo Cannone will wear the number 8 jersey, the role where the battle on the meeting points is won or is lost by dragging the team with him in both cases. Clash of fear straight to straight, especially if the “meeting points” are called Fritz Lee (Clermont), Taufua (New Zealander born in force at Leicester) and Theo McFarland (the belated star of the Saracens, the brightest star).
“Cannone junior is the best number 8 in Italy and the start of the season with Benetton must be rewarded,” he said. Then, partly because conditioned by injuries (Capuozzo and Padovani, perhaps ready for Australia, but wanted to remember the names of Mori, Marin and Minozzi), the coach reinforced his ballistics with Paolo Garbisi in the direction and Allan at the extreme. He chose the wings Bruno and the returning Ioane (the other is the scrum half Varney), while the centers renounce the second director (Marin goes with Italy XV) and chooses the Brex-Morisi defensive dam (revitalized in London) . In the fray Lamaro and the surprising Zuliani close the third line. In second the fixed couple Sisi and Ruzza (first in the blue of the Paduan at Plebiscito), in first the certainties Ferrari and Fischetti. On the bench the other rookie, Lucchin.
Italy: Allan; Bruno, Brex, Morisi, Ioane; Garbisi P., Varney; Cannone L. (debut), Lamaro (c), Zuliani; Ruzza, Sisi; Ferrari, Nicotera, Fischetti. available Lucchesi, Nemer, Ceccarelli, Cannone N., Halafihi, Albanese, Menoncello, Lucchin (debut). Ct Crowley
Samoa: Toala; Leiua, Sergeant, Leuila, Wong; Jonah, Henry; Lee, Volunteer, McFarland; Vui, Alainuue; Alaalatoa (cap), Lam, Lay. A disp. Leiataua, Leatigaga, Toomaga-Allen, Seu, Gray, Taumateine, Paia’aua, Alosio. Ct.