Six Nations: Italy ring changes to face Wales

Kris Burton (left) starts at fly-half for Italy

Italy have responded to their heavy defeat in Ireland by making seven changes to the side for Saturday's Six Nations visit to Cardiff to face Wales.

Australia-born fly-half Kris Burton replaces Tobias Botes, who missed three attempts at goal in Dublin.

Scrum-half Fabio Semenzato, wing Mirco Bergamasco and centre Gonzalo Canale return behind the scrum.

And Lock Cornelius van Zyl, prop Andrea Lo Cicero and flanker Simone Favaro are added to the forward pack.

Fly-half Botes pays the price for an erratic kicking display against Ireland that saw him miss three out of five attempts at goal.

The kicking duties are set to be returned to Racing Metro wing Bergamasco, who has not played for Italy since the 2011 World Cup beacuse of a shoulder injury.

Bergamasco, who kicked the winning penalty in a 22-21 victory over France in last year's championship, will be making his 86th appearance for his country.

Before losing to Ireland after fading in the second half, Italy had also fallen to France in Paris and at home to England in this season's competition.


Italy: Andrea Masi (Aironi); Luke McLean (Treviso), Gonzalo Canale (Clermont Auvergne), Alberto Sgarbi (Treviso), Mirco Bergamasco (Racing Metro); Kris Burton (Treviso), Fabio Semenzato (Treviso); Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing Metro), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Treviso), Lorenzo Cittadini (Treviso), Quintin Geldenhuys (Aironi), Cornelius van Zyl (Treviso), Alessandro Zanni (Treviso), Simone Favaro (Aironi), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais, capt).

Replacements: Tommaso D'Apice (Aironi), Fabio Staibano (Aironi), Marco Bortolami (Aironi), Robert Barbieri (Treviso), Tobias Botes (Treviso), Tommaso Benvenuti (Treviso), Giulio Toniolatti (Aironi).

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Blues); Alex Cuthbert (Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Blues), George North (Scarlets); Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Michael Phillips (Bayonne); Gethin Jenkins (Blues, capt), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Dragons), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Toby Faletau (Dragons).

Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Paul James (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Scarlets), James Hook (Perpignan), Scott Williams (Scarlets).