Zebre Rugby Club is ready to return to the field tomorrow in the new season opener of the Guinness PRO14.
At the Stadio Lanfranchi in Parma, the Italian franchise will host the South African side Southern Kings, who they’ve only faced once in their history.
Zebre won 43-17 win back in September 2017, the first historic success of the Italian franchise in South Africa.
The former Zebre number 8 Van Schalkwyk, who signed for the South African franchise after five years in Parma, has not been called up while former Zebre centre Beyers figures in the Southern Kings squad which travelled to Italy.
Zebre are included in the A group along with the Irish Provinces Connacht and Munster, the Welsh Regions Ospreys and Cardiff Blues, the Scots Glasgow Warriors and the other South African side of the Cheetahs.
The Italians will only face the Southern Kings once in the current season as the opponents are included in the Conference B
Tommaso Castello and his teammates are back from the two pre-season friendlies against the French FC Grenoble Rugby and Benetton Rugby, grabbing two defeats.
They return to play in the Guinness PRO14 after closing last season with three consecutive wins against Dragons, Ospreys and Benetton.
Compared to last Friday in Treviso, there is only one change in the starting XV chosen by head coach Michael Bradley: lock Krumov will start in place of the injured Licata, with forward Sisi switching to the back row.
There are a total of eight Azzurri who were part of the Italian national team that travelled to Japan selected by head coach Michael Bradley.
Many new faces figure on the bench with several athletes ready for their official debut in the Guinness PRO14: hooker Ceciliani, prop Zilocchi, lock Tauyavuca and fly-half Brummer: four of the 11 new signings.
Here’s Zebre Rugby Club line-up for Friday, August 31 match at the Stadio Lanfranchi in Parma (Italy) for the 1st round of the Guinness PRO14 against the South African side of the Isuzu Southern Kings. Kick-off at 8.35 pm local time (7.35 pm in the UK & Ireland):
15 Matteo Minozzi*
14 Mattia Bellini
13 Giulio Bisegni
12 Tommaso Castello (cap)
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*
16 Massimo Ceciliani*
17 Daniele Rimpelli*
18 Giosué Zilocchi*
19 Apisai Tauyavuca
20 Jimmy Tuivaiti
21 Guglielmo Palazzani
22 Francois Brummer
23 Edoardo Padovani*
Coach. Michael Bradley
Not available for selection due to injury: Cruze Ah-Nau, Paula Balekana, Eduardo Bello, Gabriele Di Giulio*, Giovanni Licata*, Luhandre Luus*, Maxime Mbandà*, Samuele Ortis*
*Former member of the Italian Rugby Union academy “Ivan Francescato” of Parma
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scottish Rugby Union)
Assistant Referees: Keith Allen (Scottish Rugby Union) and Manuel Bottino (Federazione Italiana Rugby)
TMO: Stefano Penné (Federazione Italiana Rugby)
Live coverage of the game in Italy on live streaming on DAZN on www.dazn.com. Live text coverage of the game on www.pro14rugby.organd on Zebre Rugby twitter account with the official game hashtag #ZEBvKIN.