Wallabies already eyeing World Cup ahead of Italy clash

Australia are already looking ahead to next year's Rugby World Cup as they prepare to face in-form Italy in their third Autumn Nations Series Test on Saturday.

Dave Rennie's team will line up in Florence having lost four of their last five matches, falling narrowly to World Cup hosts France in Paris last weekend.

The New Zealand-born coach has made 11 changes to the starting XV to take on Italy, who opened their Autumn run of Tests with a six-try thumping of Samoa and are hoping for another positive outing against one of the game's giants.

The Wallabies could do with a turnaround in form in their final three games of 2022, with Ireland and Wales also coming up in November.

"All those Test matches count leading to it. We want to put a name on what the Wallabies will look like in the World Cup next year," winger Tom Wright told reporters on Wednesday.

"The World Cup is still a long way away and we have three important games left but what we do in these games is going to propel us into next year."

Rennie will be taking on a familiar face in former All-Black Kieran Crowley, who is trying to turn Italy's senior team into one which can do damage against rugby's big boys.

"We're conscious this is a good Italian side," said Rennie.

"I know Kieran Crowley well and they've made really good shifts in the last 12 months."

Australia will face Monty Ioane standing across in the field in blue, the Melbourne-born wing in good form going into Saturday's match.

Winger Ioane scored two tries in the Azzurri's 49-17 win over Samoa last weekend and retained his place in the side for the game at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Saturday.

It is the first time that the 28-year-old will play against the country of his birth after qualifying to play for Italy via residency in 2020.

Italy will also have full-back Ange Capuozzo back in the starting line-up as one of four changes to the team from last weekend's thumping victory which moved them up to 12th place in World Rugby's global rankings.

Crowley's team moved above Samoa and Georgia, who had been suggested as Italy's replacement in the Six Nations during the Azzurri's 36-match losing streak in the competition.

France-born Capuozzo, whose sensational run set up the stunning late try that beat Wales in March and ended Italy's run of defeats in the Six Nations, returns and lines up for a side which has won four of its last five Tests.

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