Italy: Maria Magatt earns 50th test cap, captain Manuela Furlan returns

Italy: Maria Magatt earns 50th test cap, captain Manuela Furlan returns

Italy coach Andrea Di Giandomenico has named his team for their Rugby World Cup 2021 quarter-final against France at Northland Events Centre on 29 October.

Italy coach Andrea Di Giandomenico has made four changes to his starting line-up from the 24-12 loss to Canada for their nation’s first-ever Rugby World Cup quarter-final

Winger Maria Magatti plays her 50th while fourteen of Italy's starting line-up also started the Azzurre's victory over Les Bleues in September.

The one change is enforced with Sara Tounesi having received a 12-match suspension after being cited for biting (Law 9.12) in their victory over Japan last weekend

Lucia Gai returns at tight-head for her first appearance since the opening win over USA, with Sara Seye dropping to the bench. Valeria Fedrighi comes into the second row in place of Tounesi and will partner Giordana Duca.

The final change to the pack sees Isabella Locatelli named at openside in place of Giada Franco, who is going through the return-to-play protocols. In the backline, the only change again comes at scrum-half with Sofia Stefan to start and Italy’s most-capped player Sara Barattin to play off the bench. The other six players will start for the fourth match running at RWC 2021.

Fourteen of Italy's starting line-up also started Italy's 26-19 win in their last meeting with France on 9 September. The exception is loose-head prop Silvia Turani who wasn't involved in the 23 that day with Gaia Maris the starting prop.

A welcome sight on the bench for the Azzurre is the return of Manuela Furlan, their long-standing captain having not played since injuring her knee in the 21-0 loss to France on 3 September. The other new face on the bench is Michela Merlo, who is set for her RWC debut after being named in a squad for the first time since the Women’s Six Nations in April.

Captain Elisa Giordano will play her 60th test for the Azzurre, while winger Maria Magatti will earn her 50th cap. Both players made their test debuts against France, Giordano in October 2011 and Magatti in February 2014.

Four other players in the match-day 23 made their test debuts against France – Sofia Stefan in October 2011 and Auro Muzzo, Silvia Turani and Beatrice Veronese in November 2017.

This is the fourth time France and Italy will meet in 2022, the most ever in a calendar year. Les Bleues won the first two, 39-6 in the Women’s Six Nations in March and 21-0 in their first RWC 2021 warm-up in September, before Italy triumphed 26-19 a week later in Biella to end a three-game losing run in the fixture. This is the first time they meet on the Rugby World Cup stage.

Italy team to face France:

1. Silvia Turani
2. Melissa Bettoni
3. Lucia Gai
4. Valeria Fedrighi
5. Giordana Duca
6. Francesca Sgorbini
7. Isabella Locatelli
8. Elisa Giordano (captain)
9. Sofia Stefan
10. Veronica Madia
11. Maria Magatti
12. Beatrice Rigoni
13. Michela Sillari
14. Auro Muzzo
15. Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi

16. Vittoria Vecchini
17. Gaia Maris
18. Sara Seye
19. Michela Merlo
20. Beatrice Veronese
21. Sara Barattin
22. Alyssa D'Inca
23. Manuela Furlan

Latest News