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Ruzza leads Italy against Scotland in Summer Nations Series opener

Ruzza leads Italy against Scotland in Summer Nations Series opener

Federico Ruzza

Federico Ruzza will name an exciting Italy side in their opening match of the Summer Nations Series against Scotland, with two debutants named by Kieran Crowley.

Full-back Lorenzo Pani and scrum-half Martin Page-Relo will make their first appearances for Gli Azzurri for the game at Scottish Gas Murrayfield.

Page-Relo will combine with Tommaso Allan in the half-backs, while Montanna Ioane is back after missing the Guinness Six Nations, joining Pani and Pierre Bruno in the back three.

Completing the backline is a centre duo of Luca Morisi and Tommaso Menoncello.

Up front, Federico Zani, Epalahame Faiva and Pietro Ceccarelli will start in the front row, packing down in front of David Sisi and Andrea Zambonin.

Ruzza, meanwhile, starts at blindside flanker, joining Manuel Zuliani and Toa Halafihi.

Danilo Fischetti is the most experienced player named on the bench, with a trio of players winning only their second caps – hooker Marco Manfredi, prop Filippo Alongi and fly-half Giacomo Da Re.

This is the first of four Summer Nations Series matches for Italy, with Crowley explaining that this will be a big test for those chasing spots in Italy’s final World Cup squad.

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He said: “The game against Scotland is a first, important step towards the Rugby World Cup. Lots of players will have the chance to play a high-level international Test match and show that they are capable of making the list for the World Cup. It will also be an opportunity to evaluate the first part of the preparations ahead of the next games.”

Italy team to face Scotland at Scottish Gas Murrayfield on Saturday 29th July (kick-off: 3:15pm):

15 Lorenzo Pani, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Tommaso Menoncello, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Martin Page-Relo, 1 Federico Zani, 2 Epalahame Faiva, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 4 David Sisi, 5 Andrea Zambonin, 6 Federico Ruzza (C), 7 Manuel Zuliani, 8 Toa Halafihi

Replacements: 16 Marco Manfredi, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Filippo Alongi, 19 Edoardo Iachizzi, 20 Lorenzo Cannone, 21 Alessandro Garbisi, 22 Giacomo Da Re, 23 Federico Mori


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