Italy: Kieran Crowley makes four changes for Six Nations clash against Scotland
Italy head coach Kieran Crowley has made four changes to his starting XV to face Scotland in the final round of the Six Nations.
Crowley has reacted to the 29-17 defeat to Wales by making two alterations to his backline and two in his starting pack.
Debut for Gesi
Zebre Parma speedster Simone Gesi will make his Test debut for the Azzurri. He starts on the left wing, with Pierre Bruno shifting to the right and Edoardo Padovani falling out of the matchday squad.
Tommaso Allan continues at full-back following the injury to Ange Capuozzo in Round Three.
Tommaso Menoncello and Juan Ignacio Brex start in the centres once again, with the second change to the backline coming in the half-backs.
Stephen Varney is replaced in the starting line-up by Alessandro Fusco, who is promoted from the bench, with Paolo Garbisi retaining the starting number 10 jumper. Paolo’s younger brother, Alessandro, is named on the bench as the backup scrum-half.
Changes in the pack
Michele Lamaro captains the side from openside flanker, with Sebastian Negri on the other side of the pack and Lorenzo Cannone at number eight.
The two changes in the pack occur on the tighthead side of the scrum.
Marco Riccioni replaces Simone Ferrari in the number three jumper and is joined in the front-row by hooker Giacomo Nicotera and loosehead Danilo Fischetti.
Edoardo Iachizzi will scrummage behind Riccioni as he trades places with Niccolo Cannone. Iachizzi starts alongside Federico Ruzza with Cannone named on the bench.
Zebre hooker Marco Manfredi could also make his Test debut off the bench, coming into the side in place of Luca Bigi. Federico Zani and Pietro Ceccarelli provide prop cover in the replacements.
Cannone, Giovanni Pettinelli and Manuel Zuliani are the other forwards on the bench, with Crowley opting for a 6-2 spit with Garbisi and Luca Morisi covering the backs.
Italy: 15 Tommy Allan, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Tommaso Menoncello, 11 Simone Gesi, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Alessandro Fusco, 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7 Michele Lamaro (c), 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Edoardo Iachizzi, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Giacomo Nicotera, 1 Danilo Fischetti
Replacements: 16 Marco Manfredi, 17 Federico Zani, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Niccolo Cannone, 20 Giovanni Pettinelli, 21 Manuel Zuliani, 22 Alessandro Garbisi, 23 Luca Morisi
Date: Saturday, March 18
Kick-off: 12:30 GMT
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley (England), Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia)
READ MORE: Blair Kinghorn starts at 10 with Ollie Smith at 15 against Italy in the absence of Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg