Italy coach Nick Mallett has made two changes to his side after losing the first three matches in this season's RBS Six Nations.
Now his team face defending champions Wales in Saturday's RBS Six Nations game at Rome's Stadio Flaminio, desperate for a win, or even a try. Italy have not crossed the whitewash since a late score in Round 1 against a tiring England team who had already secured victory
But Mallett has not pressed panic button and shown faith with the majority of the side that lost 26-6 to Scotland in Edinburgh last time out.
to Leicester prop Martin Castrogiavanni is dropped to the bench, Gloucester's Carlos Nieto starting at tight-head.
Overmach Parma full-back Giulio Rubini, 21, is given a first start on the wing, Mirco Bergamasco moving back to centre with Gonzalo Garcia missing out. Uncapped Roberto Quartaroli is also brought onto the bench.
Rubini won his first cap as a replacement in last month's 26-6 defeat to Scotland, the Murrayfield loss having followed earlier reversals to England and Ireland.
Azzurri full-back Andrea Masi was last week ruled out of the Wales game because of injury. Masi, who missed the match against Scotland through suspension, has been struggling with a back injury.
Italy: Andrea Marcato; Giulio Rubini, Gonzalo Canale, Mirco Bergamasco, Matteo Pratichetti; Luke McLean, Paul Griffen; Salvatore Perugini, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Carlos Nieto, Santiago Dellape, Marco Bortolami, Alessandro Zanni, Mauro Bergamasco, Sergio Parisse (capt).
Replacements: Franco Sbaraglini, Martin Castrogiovanni, Carlo Antonio Del Fava, Josh Sole, Pablo Canavosio, Luciano Orquera, Roberto Quartaroli.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event