Italy’s start to the Six Nations has gone as most had expected, with heavy losses to England and Ireland. The Azzurri now head to Marseille on Friday to take on France, with both teams looking for their first win of the competition.
Conor O’Shea has today named his side, with three changes from the team that lost in Dublin.
Leonardo Ghiraldini returns at hooker for his 93rd cap, as Andrea Lovotti and Maxime Mbanda also coming into the team.
The Italians aren’t fancied in this away clash, but the fact that France are playing in the Stade Vélodrome means that it is somewhat unfamiliar territory for Jacques Brunel’s side.
Italy currently have a points differential of -68. Their last win in the Six Nations Championship came in 2015, which means that they are justifiably underdogs, but O’Shea has put his faith in this 23 to cause an upset.
Italy team to take on France:
Matteo Minozzi, Tommaso Benvenuti, Tommaso Boni, Tommaso Castello, Mattia Bellini, Tommaso Allan, Marcello Violi; Andrea Lovotti, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Simone Ferrari, Alessandro Zanni, Dean Budd, Sebastian Negri, Maxime Mbanda, Sergio Parisse (captain).
Luca Bigi, Nicola Quaglio, Tiziano Pasquali, George Biagi, Federico Ruzza, Edoardo Gori, Carlo Canna, Jayden Hayward.