The Azzurri have named their XV to take on the defending champions

Michele Lamaro captains an Italy side that has Tommaso Allan at fly-half in place of the injured Paolo Garbisi against France in the opening round of the Guinness Six Nations.

Harlequins No 10 Allan has Gloucester’s Stephen Varney at scrum-half while both the Cannone brothers, Niccolò and Lorenzo, start at second row and No 8 respectively.

Elsewhere, Ange Capuozzo – the hero from Italy’s first win in seven years against Wales in 2022 – starts at full-back with Pierre Bruno, who is featured in the Six Nations special March issue of Rugby Worldand the exciting Tommaso Menoncello, who recently signed a contract extension with Benetton on the wings.

Luca Morisi and Juan Ignacio Brex make up the centre partnership. Lamaro is at No 7 while on the other flank is Sebastian Negri. Danilo Fischetti and Simone Ferrari are the props either side of hooker Giacomo Nicotera.

Read more: Italy Six Nations fixtures

Federico Ruzza packs down alongside the elder Cannone, Niccolò, in the engine room. The scorer of that famous try in Cardiff in their last Six Nations outing, Edoardo Padovani, must make do with a place among the replacements.

Italy Six Nations squad to play France

Ange Capuozzo; Pierre Bruno, Juan Ignacio Brex, Luca Morisi, Tommaso Menoncello;  Tommaso Allan, Stephen Varney; Danilo Fischetti, Giacomo Nicotera, Simone Ferrari, Niccolò Cannone, Federico Ruzza, Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro (captain), Lorenzo Cannone

Replacements: Luca Bigi, Federico Zani, Pietro Ceccarelli, Edoardo Iachizzi, Giovanni Pettinelli, Manuel Zuliani, Alessandro Fusco, Edoardo Padovani

Italy Six Nations wider squad

Paolo Garbisi has been added to the Italy Six Nations squad for the opening two rounds of the Guinness Six Nations and could feature earlier than expected on his return from injury.

The Montpellier fly-half was not included in the initial training squad due to a knee injury and was only expected to play in the back half of the championship, as previously confirmed by coach Kieran Crowley.

Read more: Italy Six Nations fixtures

However, his inclusion ahead of time suggests he could return to action away at Twickenham against England on 12 February.

The rest of the squad have been training in Verona ahead of their clash with the reigning Grand Slam champions at the Stadio Olimpico this weekend.

Italy Six Nations Squad 2023

This is the squad selected for the first two rounds of the Six Nations.

Forwards

Pietro CECCARELLI (Brive, 24 caps)
Simone FERRARI (Benetton Rugby, 40 caps)
Danilo FISCHETTI (London Irish, 25 caps)
Marco RICCIONI (Saracens Rugby, 17 caps)
Luca RIZZOLI (Zebre Parma, uncapped)
Federico ZANI (Benetton Rugby, 16 caps)
Luca BIGI (Zebre Parma 42 caps)
Marco MANFREDI (Zebre Parma, uncapped)
Giacomo NICOTERA (Benetton Rugby, 7 caps)
Niccolò CANNONE (Benetton Rugby, 25 caps)
Riccardo FAVRETTO (Benetton Rugby, 1 cap)
Edoardo IACHIZZI (Vannes, uncapped)
Federico RUZZA (Benetton Rugby, 36 caps)
Lorenzo CANNONE (Benetton Rugby, 3 caps)
Michele LAMARO (Benetton Rugby, 21 caps) – captain
Sebastian NEGRI (Benetton Rugby, 40 caps)
Giovanni PETTINELLI (Benetton Rugby, 8 caps)
Jake POLLEDRI (Gloucester Rugby, 19 caps)
Manuel ZULIANI (Benetton Rugby, 6 caps)

Backs

Alessandro FUSCO (Zebre Parma, 5 caps)
Alessandro GARBISI (Benetton Rugby, 3 caps)
Stephen VARNEY (Gloucester Rugby, 15 caps)
Tommaso ALLAN (Harlequins, 66 caps)
Giacomo DA RE (Benetton Rugby, 1 cap)
Paolo GARBISI (Montpellier, 21 caps)
Juan Ignacio BREX (Benetton Rugby, 18 caps)
Enrico LUCCHIN (Zebre Parma, 1 cap)
Tommaso MENONCELLO (Benetton Rugby, 6 caps)
Luca MORISI (London Irish, 39 caps)
Pierre BRUNO (Zebre Parma, 7 caps)
Ange CAPUOZZO (Stade Toulousain, 7 caps)
Matteo MINOZZI (Benetton Rugby, 24 caps)
Edoardo PADOVANI (Benetton Rugby, 40 caps)

Italy Six Nations Fixtures 2023

Round 1

Sun 5 February, Italy v France (3pm)

Round 2

Sun 12 February, England v Italy (3pm)

Round 3

Sat 25 February, Italy v Ireland (2.15pm)

Round 4

Sat 11 March, Italy v Wales (2.15pm)

Round 5

Sat 18 March, Scotland v Italy (12.30pm)

Don’t miss a game with our TV coverage guide

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.