FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - Italy fullback Matteo Minozzi has recovered from a broken nose suffered against England a fortnight ago to be included in the team to play Scotland in the Autumn Nations Cup in Florence on Saturday.
Minozzi, who helped Wasps reach the English Premiership final, had to leave the pitch in Rome last month at the end of the Six Nations after a clash of heads with Jonny May but has recovered to make the team named by coach Franco Smith on Thursday.
Italy handed a debut to wing Jacopo Trulla and a second cap to centre Marco Zanon in the only two changes to the starting lineup from the 34-5 defeat that saw England win the Six Nations.
Italy also named uncapped Stephen Varney from English club Gloucester among the replacements. The Welsh-born scrum half has an Italian mother and has come through Italy’s junior international teams.
Hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini returns after a 20 month absence and is likely to win a 105th cap from the bench on Saturday.
"An interesting tournament begins and we can't wait to take the field to face this new challenge,” said Smith.
“We have worked well these last days, with the usual passion and motivation. We have young players together with those who have worn the shirt for a long time: a perfect mix to help build our team identity.”
15-Matteo Minozzi, 14-Jacopo Trulla, 13-Marco Zanon, 12-Carlo Canna, 11-Mattia Bellini, 10-Paolo Garbisi, 9-Marcello Violi, 8-Jake Polledri, 7-Braam Steyn, 6-Sebastian Negri, 5-Niccolo Cannone, 4-Marco Lazzaroni, 3-Giosue Zilocchi, 2-Luca Bigi, 1-Danilo Fischetti
Replacements: 16-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17-Simone Ferrari, 18-Pietro Ceccarelli, 19-Johan Meyer, 20-Maxime Mbanda, 21-Stephen Varney, 22-Tomasso Allan, 23-Federico Mori
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)