Ghiraldini Back For Italy Vs Scotland In Autumn Nations Cup
FLORENCE, Italy: Hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini could make his first appearance for Italy in more than 20 months.
Ghiraldini has been named on the bench for Italys Autumn Nations Cup opener against Scotland on Saturday in Florence.
If the 35-year-old hooker plays, it will be his 105th appearance for Italy but his first since a serious knee injury against France in the 2019 Six Nations. He rehabbed the knee to be picked for the Rugby World Cup in Japan a year ago, but a planned farewell appearance off the bench in Italy’s last pool game against New Zealand was scrubbed when the match was canceled because of Typhoon Hagibis.
Italy coach France Smith made two changes to the starting lineup from the 34-5 defeat to England which won for the visitor the Six Nations. Smith handed a debut to Calvisano wing Jacopo Trulla and a second cap to center Marco Zanon.
The uncapped Stephen Varney also is on the bench. The Gloucester scrumhalf was born in Wales but has an Italian mother and has come through Italys junior teams.
Italy fullback Matteo Minozzi has recovered from a broken nose suffered against England two weeks ago.
Italy: Matteo Minozzi, Jacopo Trulla, Marco Zanon, Carlo Canna, Mattia Bellini, Paolo Garbisi, Marcello Violi; Jake Polledri, Braam Steyn, Sebastian Negri, Niccol Cannone, Marco Lazzaroni, Giosu Zilocchi, Luca Bigi (captain), Danilo Fischetti. Reserves: Leonardo Ghiraldini, Simone Ferrari, Pietro Ceccarelli, Johan Meyer, Maxime Mbanda, Stephen Varney, Tommaso Allan, Federico Mori.
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