Winless Italy make four changes
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Italy coach Franco Smith has made four changes to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Six Nations finale against Scotland in Edinburgh.
The ‘Azzurri’ are searching for their first win in the tournament since beating the Scots in Murrayfield in 2015.
The Italians have conceded 187 points conceded and 26 tries in this year’s tournament extending their losing run to 31 games.
Fullback Edoardo Padovani takes the place of Jacopo Trulla, with 20-year-old centre Federico Mori getting his first start on his ninth game for Italy.
Lock Federico Ruzza and prop Marco Riccioni are the other new faces from the side who were hammered 7-48 by Wales in Rome last weekend.
Flank David Sisi is out after picking up a shoulder injury against Wales.
Mogliano Rugby lock Riccardo Favretto could become the 13th rookie to earn a cap under Smith with the 19-year-old starting on the replacement bench for the first time.
Ignacio Brex who holds his place for the fifth consecutive game this campaign, with flyhalf Paolo Garbisi alongside Stephen Varney.
“We have a big challenge ahead of us,” said Smith.
“We want to win on Saturday, to close the tournament in the best possible way and continuing on the path to becoming more and more competitive.”
Italy: 15 Edoardo Padovani; 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Ignacio Brex, 12 Federico Mori, 11 Monty Ioane; 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney; 8 Michele Lamaro, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Sebastian Negri; 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Luca Bigi (captain), 1 Danilo Fischetti
Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Andrea Lovotti, 18 Giosue Zilocchi, 19 Riccardo Favretto, 20 Maxime Mbanda, 21 Marcello Violi, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Marco Zanon
Date: Saturday, March 20
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 14.15 (15.15 Italian time; 14.15 GMT)
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson (England) & Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Alex Ruiz (France)
𝙇𝙚𝙩’𝙨 𝙠𝙞𝙘𝙠 𝙞𝙩 𝙤𝙛𝙛!
— Italrugby (@Federugby) March 18, 2021