England younster in Azzurri starting XV
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Former England Under-20 back row forward David Sisi will earn his first cap for Italy in their Six Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Sisi, 25, who moved from English club Bath to Italian Pro14 side Zebre in 2017, made 14 appearances for England’s youth team between 2012 and 2013.
Veteran captain Sergio Parisse – capped 134 times – returns after missing the November Tests through injury, with hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini set for his 100th cap.
Sisi will make his debut alongside Dean Budd in the second rown – with Leonardo Ghiraldini joined on the front row by Simone Ferrari and Andrea Lovotti.
The Italians are on a run of a record 17 straight Six Nations defeats with their last win in the tournament against Scotland at Murrayfield in 2015.
Conor O’Shea’s side host Wales at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on Saturday week.
Italy: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Tommaso Castello, 11 Michele Campagnaro, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Braam Steyn, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Dean Budd, 4 David Sisi, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Federico Ruzza, 20 Jimmy Tuivaiti, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Edoardo Padovani.
Date: Saturday, February 2
Venue: Murrayfield Stadium, Scotland
Kick-off: 14.15 (14.15 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)