Italy make one change as Minozzi returns to face England

ONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Matteo Minozzi of Wasps takes on Henry Slade of Exeter Chiefs during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby final match between Exeter Chiefs and Wasps at Twickenham Stadium on October 24, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
WP Rugby ONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Matteo Minozzi of Wasps takes on Henry Slade of Exeter Chiefs during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby final match between Exeter Chiefs and Wasps at Twickenham Stadium on October 24, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Image: (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The return of fullback Matteo Minozzi is the only change to Italy’s starting line-up for their Six Nations clash against England at Rome’s Olympic Stadium on Saturday, coach Franco Smith announced on Thursday.

Minozzi missed last Saturday’s 50-17 defeat in Ireland because he was playing for Wasps in the English Premiership final against Exeter Chiefs.

Smith kept faith with 20-year-old flyhalf Paolo Garbisi, who scored 12 points on his debut last week, including a try.

“In Ireland we showed flashes of our potential and positive signs, but we are aware that we have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Smith as he named the side.

“We are a young team that wants to progress and continue to build an identity,” he said.

Italy, already condemned to bottom place again, have lost their last 26 Six Nations matches, stretching back five years and meet an England side who will be seeking a bonus point haul to put themselves in line to take this year’s title.

Team:

15-Matteo Minozzi, 14-Edoardo Padovani, 13-Luca Morisi, 12-Carlo Canna, 11-Mattia Bellini, 10-Paolo Garbisi, 9-Marcello Violi, 8-Jake Polledri, 7-Braam Steyn, 6-Sebastian Negri, 5-Niccolo Cannone, 4-Marco Lazzaroni, 3-Giosue Zilocchi, 2-Luca Bigi, 1-Danilo Fischetti

Replacements: 16-Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17-Simone Ferrari, 18-Pietro Ceccarelli, 19-David Sisi, 20-Johan Meyer, 21-Maxime Mbanda, 22-Guglielmo Palazzani, 23-Federico Mori. (Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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