Italy make six changes for Scotland in Six Nations

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has made six forced changes to his starting team for this weeked’s Six Nations Championship match against Scorland at Murrayfield.

Italy are placed last in the Six Nations standings after a 3-26 loss to Ireland and a 47-17 loss to England at Twickenham.

Brunel’s Italy have paid a hefty price in terms of injuries from the loss to England and a dog bit has ruled out Toulon prop Martin Castrogiovanni.

The Toulon forward was bitten on the nose by a friend’s dog putting him on a course of antibiotics and he has been replaced by Dario Chistolini.

“Castro is not training so as to avoid any risk of infection, and is still following a course of antibiotics,” said team manager Luigi Troiani.

“He will not be available for the trip to Scotland, but we’ll be counting on him returning as soon as possible.”

Castrogiovanni’s replacement is just one of six made by French coach Brunel, who has handed full debuts to Michele Visentin and Enrico Bacchin.

Visentin comes in for injured right wing Leonardo Sarto, while Bacchin replaces injured Andrea Masi at inside centre.

Brunel has kept faith with the half-back partnership of Kelly Haimona and Edoardo Gori for the sixth game in succession, while in the pack, Simone Favaro comes off the bench to replace Mauro Bergamasco.

In the second row, Joshua Furno steps in to replace injured Marco Bortolami to partner George Biagi, who has secured his third successive start in this year’s tournament.

Chistolini’s inclusion is one of two changes in the front row with Alberto De Marchi dropping to the bench in place of Matias Aguero.

Italy have beaten Scotland seven times in their previous 22 meetings although the Scots have won their past three meetings.

In the last two, the Scots came away with last-gasp victories: 21-20 in last year’s tournament in Rome and 30-29 during a summer test in Pretoria in 2013.

Italy last dominated Scotland in a 13-6 win at the Stadio Olimpico in 2012.


Luke McLean; Michele Visentin, Luca Morisi, Enrico Bacchin, Giovambattista Venditti; Kelly Haimona, Edoardo Gori; Sergio Parisse (capt), Simone Favaro, Francesco Minto; Joshua Furno, George Fabio Biagi; Dario Chistolini, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Matias Aguero.

Replacements: Andrea Manici, Alberto De Marchi, Lorenzo Cittadini, Marco Fuser, Samuela Vunisa, Guglielmo Palazzani, Tommaso Allan, Giulio Bisegni

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