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Italy name experienced team to take on New Zealand in autumn series opener

ROME : Italy coach Kieran Crowley has named an experienced team to take on New Zealand in his side's autumn international in Rome on Saturday.

Crowley also named Michele Lamaro as captain for the visit of the world's top ranked All Blacks.

"The boys showed a great attitude during training showing a great desire to create something important with this shirt," Crowley said.

"On Saturday the focus will be on our performance as we continue along the path aimed at creating a very specific team identity."

It will be Crowley's first match since being appointed Azzurri coach, having succeeded Franco Smith, who has moved into a new role as the head of high performance in Italy.

Crowley had been due to take his new team back to his native New Zealand this summer, but the cancellation of that tour means he will take charge for the first time at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Team: 15-Matteo Minozzi, 14-Federico Mori, 13-Juan Ignacio Brex, 12-Marco Zanon, 11-Montanna Ioanne, 10-Paolo Garbisi, 9-Stephen Varney, 8-Renato Giammarioli, 7-Michele Lamaro, 6-Sebastian Negri, 5-David Susi, 4-Marco Fuser, 3-Marco Riccioni, 2-Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1-Danilo Fishcetti.

Replacements: 16-Luca Bigi, 17-Ivan Nemer, 18-Pietro Ceccarelli, 19-Niccolo Cannone, 20-Federico Ruzza, 21-Abraham Steyn, 22-Callum Braley, 23-Carlo Cana.

(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

Source: Reuters

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