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PRO14 Preview – Zebre v Kings


Zebre have named eight Italian internationals in their line-up to face the Kings in their PRO14 opener at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Friday.

Tommaso Castello captains the team from midfield alongside Giulio Bisegni with Marcello Violi and Carlo Canna the half-back combination.

Hooker Massimo Ceciliani, prop Giosué Zilocchi, lock Apisai Tauyavuca and fly-half Francois Brummer could make their debut from the bench.

Meanwhile, Kings coach Deon Davids has included six debutants in his matchday squad for their opening PRO14 game against the Italian side.

Full-back Michael Botha, second-row Schalk Oelofse and flanker Henry Brown make first starts for the Port Elizabeth side while second-row JC Astle, centre Ulrich Beyers and prop Lupumlo Mguca are on the bench.

In a surprise move Masixole Banda starts in the number 10 jersey and joins Rudi van Rooyen as the half-back combination.

Prediction: Zebre by 10


Zebre: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Castello (c), 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Renato Giammarioli, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 David Sisi, 5 George Biagi, 4 Leonard Krumov, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Massimo Ceciliani, 17 Daniele Rimpelli, 18 Giosué Zilocchi, 19 Apisai Tauyavuca, 20 Jimmy Tuivaiti, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Edoardo Padovani

Kings: 15 Michael Botha, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 Berton Klaasen, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Masixole Banda, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Henry Brown, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Luvuyo Pupuma, 2 Michael Willemse (c), 1 Justin Forwood
Replacements: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Luphumlo Mguca, 19 JC Astle, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Martin du Toit, 23 Ulrich Beyers

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