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Impressive newcomer Capuozzo rewarded as Italy make two changes

By Liam Heagney
Michele Lamaro showed passion and led from the front for the Azzurri (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Kieran Crowley has picked an Italy team for this Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations finale in Wales that contains two changes from the side that was beaten 22-33 last weekend by Scotland in Rome. The 1987 World Cup winner from New Zealand has opted to reward Ange Capuozzo for his excellent two-try debut off the bench, the 22-year-old Grenbole-based full-back taking the place of Pierre Bruno.

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Capuozzo’s selection as the Italy No15 sees Edoardo Padovani switch to the right wing with Bruno, who made his Test debut in Six Nations round three versus Ireland, missing out on this occasion. The rest of the Italian backline is unchanged and there is just one alteration in the pack where Newcastle’s Marci Fuser is selected in place of the benched Niccolo Cannone.

Having gone with a five forwards and three backs split in last weekend’s replacements, Crowley has now opted for a six-two split for Wales as lock Cannone has taken the spot of new back Capuozzo on a bench where Ivan Nemer has given way as the sub loosehead to Chief Traore.

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Facing Goliath | A story following Italy as they take on the mighty All Blacks | A Rugby Originals Documentary

“We will play the next match in one of the most iconic stadiums on the world rugby scene,” said Crowley, whose run of four defeats in charge has extended Italy’s barren run without a win in the Six Nations that stretches back to 2015.

“We will face a team that has recovered important players and who will want to react. We want to close the tournament in the best possible way by confirming the game shown in several moments of the match against Scotland.”

ITALY (vs Wales, Saturday)
15. Ange CAPUOZZO (Grenoble, 1 cap)
14. Edoardo PADOVANI (Benetton Rugby, 34 caps)
13. Juan Ignacio BREX (Benetton Rugby, 12 caps)
12. Leonardo MARIN (Benetton Rugby, 4 caps)
11. Montanna IOANE (Benetton Rugby, 13 caps)
10. Paolo GARBISI (Montpellier, 17 caps)
9. Callum BRALEY (Benetton Rugby, 14 caps)
8. Toa HALAFIHI (Benetton Rugby, 4 caps)
7. Michele LAMARO (Benetton Rugby, 14 caps) – capitano
6. Giovanni PETTINELLI (Benetton Rugby, 5 caps)
5. Federico RUZZA (Benetton Rugby, 29 caps)
4. Marco FUSER (Newcastle Falcons, 36 caps)
3. Pietro CECCARELLI (Brive, 20 caps)
2. Giacomo NICOTERA (Benetton Rugby, 1 cap)
1. Danilo FISCHETTI (Zebre Parma, 19 caps)

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Replacements:
16. Luca BIGI (Zebre Parma, 41 caps)
17. Cherif TRAORE (Benetton Rugby, 13 caps)
18. Tiziano PASQUALI (Benetton Rugby, 25 caps)
19. David SISI (Zebre Parma, 20 caps)
20. Niccolo CANNONE (Benetton Rugby, 19 caps)
21. Braam STEYN (Benetton Rugby, 49 caps)
22. Alessandro FUSCO (Fiamme Oro Rugby/Zebre Parma, 5 caps)
23. Marco ZANON (Benetton Rugby, 11 caps)

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