Squad captain Charles Ollivon is still out for France and so the team today is led by the cubic wonder Antoine Dupont from scrum-half. Other than that it’s largely as-you-were with thirteen of the fifteen that pulverised the All Blacks in the Autumn present here.
Italy, in keeping with recent selection policies, have selected teenagers Tommaso Menoncello and Leonardo Marin the squad, while experience in the form of Carlo Canna is nowhere to be seen. Even captain Michele Lamaro is a callow 23 years old with only ten caps.
The very low average age in the Azzuri squad will increase at some point in the tournament however, when 137-year-old Sergio Parrisse rocks up for his
retirement send off.
Melvyn Jaminet; Damian Penaud, Gaël Fickou, Jonathan Danty, Gabin Villière; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont (capt); Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Uini Atonio, Cameron Woki, Paul Willemse, Anthony Jelonch, Dylan Cretin, Grégory Alldritt.
Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Romain Taofifénua, 20 François Cros, 21 Maxime Lucu, 22 Yoram Moefana, 23 Thomas Ramos.
Edoardo Padovani; Tommaso Menoncello, Juan Ignacio Brex, Marco Zanon, Montanna Ioane; Paolo Garbisi, Stephen Varney; Danilo Fishetti, Gianmarco Lucchesi, Tiziano Pasquali, Niccolò Cannone, Federico Ruzza, Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro (capt), Toa Halafihi.
Replacements: 16 Epalahame Faiva, 17 Ivan Nemer, 18 Giosuè Zilocchi, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Giovanni Pettinelli, 21 Manuel Zuliani, 22 Callum Braley, 23 Leonardo Marin.