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Rugby: Canna and Lovotti return for Italy ahead of trip to England

Rugby: Canna and Lovotti return for Italy ahead of trip to England

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Autumn Nations Cup - Wales v Italy - Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli, Wales, Britain - December 5, 2020 Italy head coach Franco Smith before the match REUTERS/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

ROME: Italy head coach Franco Smith has opted to add more experience to his youthful side for Saturday’s clash with England in the Six Nations after handing starts to centre Carlo Canna and prop Andrea Lovotti.

An injury to Marco Zanon sees Zebre playmaker Canna start at inside centre for his 49th Azzurri appearance, making him the most capped player in the starting lineup for the match at Twickenham.

Juan Ignacio Brex, who made his debut in the 50-10 defeat to France in Rome last weekend, moves to outside centre, while 43-cap loosehead Lovotti starts ahead of Daniele Rimpelli, who drops out of the matchday squad.

On the bench, 60-time Italy international Tommaso Allan comes in with flanker Maxime Mbanda dropping out as Smith changes to a split of five forwards and three backs.

“We will face one of the best teams in the world at an iconic stadium,” said Smith.

“We’ve worked hard this week with particular detail on a few factors, with the objective of putting in a high level of performance on Saturday.”

Team:

15. Jacopo Trulla (Kawasaki Robot Calvisano, 4 caps)

14. Luca Sperandio (Benetton Rugby, 9 caps)

13 Juan Ignacio Brex(Benetton Rugby, 1 cap)

12 Carlo Canna (Zebre Rugby Club, 48 caps)

11. Montanna Ioane(Benetton Rugby, 2 caps)

10. Paolo Garbisi(Benetton Rugby, 6 caps)

9. Stephen Varney (Gloucester Rugby, 4 caps)

8. Michele Lamaro (Benetton Rugby, 3 caps)

7. Johan Meyer (Zebre Rugby Club, 10 caps)

6. Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby, 29 caps)

5. David Sisi (Zebre Rugby Club, 12 caps)

4. Marco Lazzaroni (Benetton Rugby, 12 caps)

3. Marco Riccioni (Benetton Rugby, 8 caps)

2. Luca Bigi (Zebre Rugby Club, 33 caps) (C)

1. Andrea Lovotti (Zebre Rugby Club, 43 caps)

Replacements:

16. Gianmarco Lucchesi(Benetton Rugby, 3 caps)

17. Danilo Fischetti(Zebre Rugby Club, 9 caps)

18. Giosuè Zilocchi(Zebre Rugby Club, 11 caps)

19. Niccolò Cannone (Benetton Rugby, 9 caps)

20. Federico Ruzza (Benetton Rugby, 20 caps)

21. Guglielmo Palazzani (Zebre Rugby Club, 42 caps)

22. Tommaso Allan (Benetton Rugby, 60 caps)

23. Federico Mori (Kawasaki Robot Calvisano, 5 caps)

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Toby Davis)

Source: Reuters

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