Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine separatist crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels call for Russian troops after deadly clash

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

Brunel warns of backlash as Allan faces Scots

AFP

Italy's coach Jacques Brunel reacts during the Six Nations international rugby union match France vs Italy, on February 9, 2014 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside ParisItaly's coach Jacques Brunel reacts during the Six Nations international rugby union match France vs Italy, on February 9, 2014 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris

Italy's coach Jacques Brunel reacts during the Six Nations international rugby union match France vs Italy, on February 9, 2014 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside ParisItaly's coach Jacques Brunel reacts during the Six Nations international rugby union match France vs Italy, on February 9, 2014 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has warned against a possible backlash from Scotland when his side, including former Scotland player Tommaso Allan, host the Six Nations strugglers at Rome's Olympic Stadium on Saturday.

Scotland arrive in the Italian capital still smarting from a 20-0 reverse to arch-enemies England at Murrayfield two weeks ago, a defeat which served only to stoke criticism of under-fire coach Scott Johnson.

With Italy succumbing to a narrow defeat to Wales (23-15) and then a heavier reverse to France (30-10), Saturday's match has been dubbed a wooden spoon decider.

Scotland, who beat Italy 34-10 at Murrayfield last year, will be looking to make amends. After announcing his team, Brunel said Italy are taking nothing for granted.

"Last year we conceded 34 points at Murrayfield, that's something we have to take into consideration," Brunel told reporters on Thursday.

"Recent results haven't been going Scotland's way, but they're one of the teams we seem to have most difficulty with. They have character and always play with determination. They will be tough opponents."

Saturday's clash should be memorable as Italy captain, No. 8 Sergio Parisse, and prop Martin Castrogiovanni will both set a new Italian record by claiming their 104th caps.

However it will also be remembered as Allan's first start against the country for whom he played at all previous levels before finally committing to Italy, much to Scotland's displeasure, at the end of last year.

Brunel regularly champions athletic fly-half Allan, who is gaining valuable senior experience with French Top 14 side Perpignan, as a potential key player for his side at next year's World Cup.

The Frenchman added: "We've kept faith with Allan because he's played some good rugby throughout the season, as much with Perpignan as with Italy."

Asked if it would be an emotional game for the Vicenza-born 20-year-old, whose Scottish father and Italian mother met in Italy while both playing the game, Brunel was dismissive.

"I understood from the start of his time with us that he feels truly Italian, even though he has come through the Scottish ranks. For him there's no doubt," he added.

Brunel has made few changes to the side that started against the French at the Stade de France.

Among the three-quarters Tommaso Iannone drops from right wing to the bench in place of Angelo Esposito, who made his debut against Wales, with Allan and Edoardo Gori retaining the half-back positions.

Stade Francais veteran Parisse and Castrogiovanni, who plays for Toulon, will both become Italy's all-time record cap holders with 104 appearancecs each, in the process superceding retired prop Andrea Lo Cicero (103).

"They've both had exemplary careers," said Brunel. "And the thing is, they still have the capability to go much further."

There are only two changes in the scrum with openside flanker Mauro Bergamasco replaced by Robert Barbieri after suffering a thigh knock. Alessandro Zanni, meanwhile comes in at blindside in place of Francesco Minto.

Teams for the Italy v Scotland Six Nations international at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Saturday (1330GMT kick-of):

Italy (15-1)

Luke McLean; Angelo Esposito, Michele Campagnaro, Gonzalo Garcia, Leonardo Sarto; Tommaso Allan, Edoardo Gori; Sergio Parisse, Robert Barbieri, Alessandro Zanni; Joshua Furno, Quintin Geldenhuys; Martin Castrogiovanni, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Alberto De Marchi

Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Matias Aguero, Lorenzo Cittadini, Marco Bortolami, Paul Derbyshire, Tobias Botes, Luciano Orquera, Tommaso Iannone

Scotland (15-1)

Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Matt Scott, Sean Lamont; Duncan Weir, Greig Laidlaw (capt); Johnnie Beattie, Chris Fusaro, Ryan Wilson; Jim Hamilton, Richie Gray; Moray Low, Scott Lawson, Ryan Grant

Replacements: Ross Ford, Alasdair Dickinson, Geoff Cross, Tim Swinson, David Denton, Chris Cusiter, Duncan Taylor, Max Evans

Date created : 2014-02-20