Azzurri gets new blood
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Italy’s South African coach Franco Smith made just one change to his starting line-up to face France, after last weekend’s humiliating 0-42 Six Nations loss at Wales.
Experienced 32-year-old Jayden Hayward comes in at fullback, as Matteo Minozzi moves to the wing and Leonardo Sarto drops out of the squad entirely.
Among the visitors’ substitutes 18-time international lock Federico Ruzza replaces 22-year-old Giovanni Licata and wing Giulio Bisegni takes Hayward’s spot with the substitutes.
Italy turns up at the Stade de France having lost each of their last 23 Six Nations matches.
Italy: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Carlo Canna, 11 Matteo Minozzi, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Braam Steyn, 7 Sebastian Negri, 6 Jake Polledri, 5 Niccolo Cannone, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Giosue Zilochhi, 2 Luca Bigi (captain), 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Federico Zani, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Dean Budd, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Giovanni Licata, 22 Guglielmo Palazzani, 23 Giulio Bisegni.
Date: Sunday, February 9
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 16.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)