(adds details, quotes)
CARDIFF, March 9 (Reuters) - Guilo Bisegni will play for Italy for the first time in more than a year after being named as the only change for their Six Nations clash against a dramatically different Welsh team in Cardiff on Sunday.
Coach Conor O’Shea on Friday named the 25-year-old centre in the midfield for his first test since playing against England at Twickenham in February last year.
Bisegni will earn his eighth cap as he replaces Zebre club mate Tomasso Boni in the only change to the line-up that lost 34-17 to France in Marseille a fortnight ago.
“Playing against an opponent of Wales’ quality is always stimulating. The changes they have made to their team does nothing but highlight the depth they have. They are a fearsome side,” said Bisegni.
Wales on Wednesday announced 10 changes to their line-up, sparking debate over whether this was disrespecting the ability of the Italians, who have lost in their three Six Nations matches this year, at home to England and away to Ireland and France.
15-Matteo Minozzi, 14-Tommaso Benvenuti, 13-Giulio Bisegni, 12-Tommaso Castello, 11-Mattia Bellini, 10-Tommaso Allan, 9-Marcello Violi, 8-Sergio Parisse (captain), 7-Maxime Mbanda, 6-Sebastian Negri, 5-Dean Budd, 4-Alessandro Zanni, 3-Simone Ferrari, 2-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1-Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16-Oliviero Fabiani, 17-Nicola Quaglio, 18-Tiziano Pasquali, 19-Federico Ruzza, 20-Giovanni Licata, 21-Guglielmo Palazzani, 22-Carlo Canna, 23-Jayden Hayward. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis and Alexander Smith)