Italy name team to face France in Six Nations

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has given 25-year-old Benetton Treviso second rower Francesco Minto his Six Nations debut against France.

Brunel has also named Davide Giazzon and Alberto de March to make their Six Nations debut if they come off the bench.

Minto played against Australia in the Autumn Internationals and was awarded man of the match.

Alessandro Zanni wears the number 6 shirt for the 14th successive test and makes a 45th consecutive appearance for the Azzurri.

Four players in the starting lineup play their club rugby outside of Italy, whilst over half the side are from Benetton Treviso.

The starting XV has 653 test caps between them; the bench has a further 168 caps and the average age of the walk-on team is 28.3 years; the average on the bench is 32.3


Andrea Masi, Giovanbattista Venditti, Tommaso Benvenuti, Alberto Sgarbi, Luke McLean, Luciano Orquera, Tobias Botes, Sergio Parisse (captain), Simone Favaro, Alessandro Zanni, Francesco Minto, Quintin Geldenhuys, Martin Castrogiovanni, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Andrea Lo Cicero.

Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Alberto De Marchi, Lorenzo Cittadini, Antonio Pavanello, Paul Derbyshire, Edoardo Gori, Kristopher Burton, Gonzalo Canale.

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