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Castro looks forward to Italy captaincy

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Martin Castrogiovanni says he is "excited and nervous" as he prepares for his first game as Italy captain this weekend.

Italy face Canada in Toronto this evening, with Leicester Tigers prop Castrogiovanni leading the team in his 87th Test appearance.

"I'm excited and a bit nervous, but I know the guys will help me to fill the role, and will understand me and support me,” Castrogiovanni said.

“I think Canada are a very physical team and they have a very organised defence.”

Castrogiovanni is the most-capped player in a young line-up which features Test newcomers Alberto Benettin and Andrea Pratichetti, plus the uncapped Marco Fuser among the replacements.

Italy (v Canada, Toronto)
15 Alberto Benettin (Aironi Rugby)
14 Giovambattista Venditti (Aironi Rugby)
13 Andrea Pratichetti (Benetton Treviso)
12 Alberto Sgarbi (Benetton Treviso)
11 Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton Treviso)
10 Kristopher Burton (Benetton Treviso)
9 Tito Tebaldi (Aironi Rugby)
1 Michele Rizzo (Benetton Treviso)
2 Tommaso D’Apice (Aironi Rugby)
3 Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers) (c)
4 Joshua Furno (Aironi Rugby)
5 Antonio Pavanello (Benetton Treviso)
6 Alessandro Zanni (Benetton Treviso)
7 Simone Favaro (Aironi Rugby)
8 Robert Barbieri (Benetton Treviso)

16 Carlo Festuccia (Banca Monte Parma Crociati)
17 Lorenzo Romano (Aironi Rugby)
18 Marco Fuser (Marchiol Mogliano)
19 Mauro Bergamasco (Aironi Rugby)
20 Edoardo Gori (Benetton Treviso)
21 Riccardo Bocchino (Estra I Cavalieri Prato)
22 Giulio Toniolatti (Aironi Rugby)