Six Nations: Italy make six changes to starting XV

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ITALY coach Jacques Brunel has included two uncapped players as part of six changes to his starting XV to face Scotland in Saturday’s RBS Six Nations match at BT Murrayfield.

Benetton Treviso centre Enrico Bacchin and Zebre winger Michele Visentin will earn their first caps.

Michele Visentin will receive his first cap. Picture: Getty

Michele Visentin will receive his first cap. Picture: Getty

Bacchin is to step in for Andrea Masi, who is injured. Zebre’s Dario Chistolini will replace Martin Castrogiovanni.

The Toulon prop is out after being attacked by a dog in a domestic incident and needing 14 stitches.

Zebre prop Matias Aguero will replace Alberto De Marchi, who drops to the bench. Aguero started in the Azzurri’s opening defeat to Ireland in Rome.

Joshua Furno is to come on in place of veteran lock Marco Bortolami, who is sidelined with a muscular injury.

Treviso flanker Simone Favaro returns to play for the Azzurri for the first time since the Autumn Test against Argentina in November.

Favaro takes over from veteran Mauro Bergamasco, who has been dropped.

Italy began their Six Nations campaign with a 26-3 loss to Ireland and they next fell 47-17 to England at Twickenham.

“Scotland is a team that we have struggled to beat in recent years,” Brunel told the Italian media. “They have also lost their opening two games but not by a big margin.

“They were in the game against France and they dominated against Wales but then had problems.

“They don’t seem to have major weaknesses. It’s going to be a difficult game. But I expect a lot more from my team.”

The Azzurri have won seven and lost 15 of their 22 meetings with Scotland. Their last triumph against the Scots was in Rome three years ago.

While Italy have enjoyed many a famous victory over the Scots in Rome, they have managed to win just once at Murrayfield –a 37-17 triumph in 2007.

On their last trip to Edinburgh they were blown away 34-10 as the Scots ran in four tries to one.

Former Scotland Under-20 stand-off Tomasso Allan has a place on the bench for Saturday. Last year in Rome the Perpignan player, who is the nephew of former Scotland hooker John Allan, scored a try and kicked eight points in a dramatic match which was eventually settled 21-20 in Scotland’s favour thanks to a late Duncan Weir drop goal.

Team v Scotland at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, kick-off 2:30pm

15 L McLean (Sale Sharks)

14 M Visentin (Zebre)

13 L Morisi (Benetton Treviso)

12 E Bacchin (Benetton Treviso)

11 G Venditti (Zebre)

10 K Haimona (Zebre)

9 E Gori (Benetton Treviso)

1 M Aguero (Zebre)

2 L Ghiraldini (Leicester Tigers)

3 D Chistolini (Zebre)

4 G Biagi (Zebre)

5 J Furno (Newcastle Falcons)

6 F Minto (Benetton Treviso)

7 S Favaro (Benetton Treviso)

8 S Parisse (Stade Francais)

Subs: A Manici (Zebre), A De Marchi (Sale Sharks), L Cittadini (London Wasps), M Fuser (Benetton Treviso), S Vunisa (Zebre), G Palazzani (Zebre), T Allan (Perpignan), G Bisegni (Zebre).

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