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Capuozzo back for Italy after six months

Ange Capuozzo will return to Italy’s starting line-up following six months out after being picked on Thursday for this weekend’s World Cup warm-up with Romania.

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Star fullback and wing Capuozzo had been out of action with a shoulder injury picked up during the Six Nations defeat to Ireland back in February.

The 24-year-old’s return is a boost for Italy who lost Tommaso Menoncello for the World Cup during this month’s 33-17 loss to Ireland, the Benetton Treviso centre needing surgery on his left shoulder.

Capuozzo, who was born in France, has just 10 caps for the Azzurri but has made a serious impact as part of Kieran Crowley’s ambitious young team.

He announced himself to the rugby world with a double against Scotland on his Test debut in March last year.

And he was key to Italy ending their 36-match Six Nations losing streak in Cardiff against Wales soon after, setting up Edoardo Padovani for one of Italy’s greatest ever tries.

Capuozzo also scored in last autumn’s thrilling 28-27 win over Australia, the first time Italy had ever beaten the Wallabies.

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The Garbisi brothers, Treviso scrumhalf Alessandro and Montpellier flyhalf Paolo, will line up side-by-side in the same Italy XV for the first time.

Few will give Italy any chance of getting out of Group A at the World Cup as they are with hosts France, New Zealand, Namibia and Uruguay.

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