FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Italy captain Sergio Parisse will miss the test against Georgia on Saturday with an ongoing calf problem.
The 35-year-old Parisse was sidelined by the same injury in September and it was hoped he recovered when he returned to play for Stade Francais two weeks ago.
Abraham Steyn replaces Parisse at No. 8, while hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini takes over the captain's armband.
"We knew that it would be difficult for Parisse to be able to play," Italy coach Conor O'Shea said. "We quickly decided not to consider him for this match and to aim to have him back for the match against the All Blacks (on Nov. 24), maybe even for the one against Australia (on Nov. 17)."
First up is Georgia in Florence. O'Shea has kept just five starters from the team which lost to Ireland 54-7 in Chicago last weekend: Mattia Bellini, Michele Campagnaro, Tito Tebaldi, Luca Sperandio and Steyn.
Italy: Luca Sperandio, Tommaso Benvenuti, Michele Campagnaro, Tommaso Castello, Mattia Bellini, Tommaso Allan, Tito Tebaldi; Abraham Steyn, Jake Polledri, Sebastian Negri, Dean Budd, Alessandro Zanni, Simone Ferrari, Leonardo Ghiraldini (captain), Andrea Lovotti. Reserves: Luca Bigi, Cherif Traore, Tiziano Pasquali, Marco Fuser, Johan Meyer, Guglielmo Palazzani, Carlo Canna, Luca Morisi.
Georgia: Iosed Matiashvili, Giorgi Koshadze, Merab Shakiradze (captain), Tamaz Mchedlidze, Zurabi Dzenladze, Lasha Khmaladze, Vasil Lobzhanidze; Beka Gorgadze, Giorgi Tsutskiridze, Otari Giorgadze, Lasha Lomidze, Nodar Chaishvili, Davit Kubriashvili, Jaba Bregvadze, Mikheil Nariashvili. Reserves: Shalva Mamukashvili, Zurabi Zhvania, Levan Chilachava, Shalva Sutiashvili, Beka Bitsadze, Gela Aprasidze, Lasha Malaguradve, Giorgi Kveseladze.
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