The Latest: Italy makes 10 changes to starting XV for Canada
TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 5 of the Rugby World Cup in Japan (all times local):
Italy coach Conor O'Shea has revamped his team to take on Canada in a Pool B game at the Rugby World Cup, making 10 changes to the starting lineup that beat Namibia 47-22 on Sunday and keeping just two players in the same positions.
Flyhalf Tommaso Allan and hooker Luca Bigi will start back-to-back games within five days in the same positions, while Jayden Hayward will switch from fullback to make his first start in the midfield for Italy.
Tommaso Bevenuti and backrower Braam Steyn also started against Namibia. The game in Fukuoka on Thursday will be Canada's first at the tournament.
Allan will combine with Callum Braley in what will be Italy's 13th halves pairing since the 2015 World Cup.
The front row of Andrea Lovotti, Bigi and Simone Ferrari started six tests together in 2017 but have worked as a starting combination only once since — a loss to England in March. Sergio Parisse, who started his record-equaling 5th Rugby World Cup by leading Italy against Namibia, is not in the match-day 23.
Italy: Matteo Minozzi, Tommaso Benvenuti, Michele Campagnaro, Jayden Hayward, Giulio Bisegni, Tommaso Allan, Callum Braley; Braam Steyn, Jake Polledri, Sebastian Negri, Dean Budd (captain), David Sisi, Simone Ferrari, Luca Bigi, Andrea Lovotti. Reserves: Federico Zani, Nicola Quaglio, Marco Riccioni, Federico Ruzza, Maxime Mbandà, Guglielmo Palazzani, Carlo Canna, Mattia Bellini.
Tonga flyhalf Kurt Morath and center Nafi Tuitavake have been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup after sustaining injuries in the 35-3 opening loss to England on Sunday.
Tonga assistant coach Pita Alatini told a news conference Tuesday that Morath was still in a hospital in Sapporo and may need surgery after hurting his throat while trying to tackle England center Manu Tuilagi in the second half. Tuitavake broke his left arm on the last play of the game.
"It is obviously desperately disappointing for Kurt and Nafi — they have worked so hard to be here — but it means there are opportunities for others now," Alatini said.
James Faiva is likely to start at flyhalf against Argentina on Saturday as a replacement for Morath, who is Tonga's all-time leading scorer.
"It's disappointing to lose Kurt the way we have, but we've got to keep moving forward as a team and I want to take the chance that has been given to me," Faiva said. "It's a great opportunity to show my talents."
Alatini said Latiume Fositaa was being drafted into the broader squad to replace Morath, and Fetuli Paea was a likely replacement for Tuitavake.
Russia is returning for its second game of the Rugby World Cup after just four days off. Samoa will be fresh and ready to go at Kumagaya.
Given only the short break, Russia surprisingly retained the same 23-man squad which lost 30-10 to host Japan in the tournament opener last Friday.
Kirill Golosnitskiy scored the first try of the tournament, but the opener went mostly Japan's way after that.
The Samoans will be without captain Jack Lam on Tuesday but should have too much experience to be too troubled by Russia.
At 37 years, 268 days, flyhalf Tusi Pisi is set to surpass late captain Peter Fatialofa as the oldest Samoan to play at a Rugby World Cup.
It's the only game on Day 5 of the tournament. Fiji will play its second game when it takes on Uruguay on Wednesday.
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