Zanni to shine in Edinburgh

Italy flanker Alessandro Zanni will make a run-on Six Nations debut in Edinburgh on Saturday, as a result of the injury to Josh Sole.

Zanni’s inclusion is one of three changes to the team made by coach Pierre Berbizier, in the wake of the 20-7 defeat by England last time out.

Experienced duo, flanker Mauro Bergamasco and centre Andrea Masi reclaim their places after recovering from injuries that kept them out of the Twickenham match.

Masi steps in for Denis Dallan, who suffered an ankle injury against England. Alessandro Troncon will win his 93rd cap at scrum-half.

“The formation has been chosen with the aim of continuing our process of growth,” said Berbizier on the Italian Rugby Federation website.

“Despite the result, the game against England represented an important turning-point in terms of our character.

“We have put our opening two matches (against France and England) behind us. Now we have to get out on the pitch and pick up where we left off in the second half against England.

“If we do that, we have the ability to pull off a few surprises in our remaining three matches.”

Italy have beaten Scotland twice before, although both matches were in Rome, and Berbizier warned that Scotland would not necessarily be Italy’s easiest targetrs as they seek a first win this year..

“The game against Scotland will certainly not be easy. Let’s not forget that they are coming off the back of a win over Wales, and that in 2006 they beat both France and England at Murrayfield,” said the former French international.

“The trip to Edinburgh is maybe the most dangerous away trip of the tournament. Not just this year, but every year. In 10 years of playing for France I never managed to win a match there.”

Italy: 15 Roland De Marigny, 14 Kaine Robertson, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Mirco Bergamasco, 11 Andrea Masi, 10 Andrea Scanavacca, 9 Alessandro Troncon, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Santiago Dellape, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero
Replacements: 16 Fabio Ongaro, 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Carlos Nieto, 19 Valerio Bernabo, 20 Maurizio Zaffiri, 21 Paul Griffen, 22 Ramiro Pez

Date: Saturday, February 24
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 15:00
Referee: Donal Courtney (Ireland)
Touch judges: Wayne Barnes (England), Hugh Watkins (Wales)
Television match official: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assessor: Patrick Robin (France)


365 Digital

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