Italy keep the faith for Ireland clash

Italy head coach Franco Smith has named an unchanged starting line-up for their Six Nations game against Ireland in Rome on Saturday.

Italy keep the faith for Ireland clash

Italy keep the faith for Ireland clash

On the back of a 41-18 loss to England at Twickenham, Smith has kept the faith with his XV but does make changes to his bench as Cherif Traore’, Maxime Mbanda’, Callum Braley and Mattia Bellini come into the matchday squad this week in place of Danilo Fischetti, Federico Ruzza, Guglielmo Palazzani and Tommaso Allan.

Luca Bigi will once again captain the Azzurri from hooker and has Andrea Lovotti and Marco Riccioni packing down either side of him.

Marco Lazzaroni and David Sisi continue at lock whilst Sebastian Negri, Johan Meyer and Michele Lamaro make up Italy’s back-row.

Same half-backs Stephen Varney lines up with Paolo Garbisi in the half-backs and the pair will have Carlo Canna and Juan Ignacio Brex in the midfield.

Completing the starting team will be wings Montanna Ioane and Luca Sperandio with Jacopo Trulla at full-back at the Stadio Olimpico.

Italy: 15 Jacopo Trulla, 14 Luca Sperandio, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Carlo Canna, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Michele Lamaro, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 David Sisi, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Luca Bigi (c), 1 Andrea Lovotti Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Cherif Traore’, 18 Giosuè Zilocchi, 19 Niccolò Cannone, 20 Maxime Mbanda’, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Federico Mori, 23 Mattia Bellini

Date: Saturday, February 27 Venue: Stadio Olimpico Kick-off: 15:15 local (14:15 GMT) Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France) Assistant Referees: Mike Adamson (Scotland), Craig Evans (Wales) TMO: Romain Poite (France)


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