ROME (Reuters) – Italy have handed Marco Zanon his full international debut for their bottom-of-the-table Six Nations clash with France on Saturday in one of five changes to the team that lost to England.
Table-propping Italy are hoping to avoid another whitewash in the competition while France are one place above them with six points.
Zanon, 21, will replace Michele Campagnaro in the back line where he will play alongside his Benetton team mate Luca Morisi.
The other four changes were in the pack where Jake Polledri returns in the back row, David Sisi is in the second row for the injured Dean Budd and Tiziano Pasquali and Leonardo Ghiraldini return to the front row.
“Our focus will be on ourselves and on trying to play our best rugby,” said coach Conor O’Shea. “We want to finish the competition with a great performance at the Stadio Olimpico.
15-Jayden Hayward, 14-Edoardo Padovani, 13-Marco Zanon, 12-Luca Morisi, 11-Angelo Esposito, 10-Tommaso Allan, 9-Tito Tebaldi, 8-Sergio Parisse, 7-Jake Polledri, 6-Abraham Steyn, 5-Federico Ruzza, 4-David Sisi, 3-Tiziano Pasquali, 2-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1-Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16-Luca Bigi, 17-Cherif Traore, 18-Simone Ferrari, 19-Alessandro Zanni, 20-Sebastian Negri, 21-Guglielmo Palazzani, 22-Ian McKinley, 23-Luca Sperandio
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis)