Italy name 10 players with fewer than 10 caps for Six Nations opener

Italy are looking for their first win in the Six Nations since 2015 when they face France on Saturday. Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images

Franco Smith has named a relatively inexperienced side for Italy's opening Six Nations game against France on Saturday, with 10 of the starting XV having fewer than 10 caps.

Smith has handed Juan Ignacio Brex his first cap for Italy and he will be partnered by Marco Zanon who has just four caps.

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The team has an average age of 20 years and will be reliant on the experience of captain Luca Bigi and Benetton's Sebastian Negri who is returning from an injury he suffered during the Autumn Nations Cup.

Flanker Michele Lamaro has been handed his second cap and his first start for the Italians at No. 8 and will be joined by Negri and Johan Meyer.

Paolo Gabisi has been named as fly-half and he will join up with 20-year-old scrum-half Stephen Varney.

David Sisi and Marco Lazzaroni make up the second-row while Cherif Traore, Marco Riccioni and Bigi are set in the front-row.

Italy team

Jacopo Trulla, Luca Sperandio, Marco Zanon, Juan Ignacio Brex, Montanna Ioane, Paolo Garbisi, Stephen Varney, Michele Lamaro, Johan Meyer, Sebastian Negri, David Sisi, Marco Lazzaroni, Marco Riccioni, Luca Bigi (captain), Cherif Traore.

Replacements: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Danilo Fischetti, Giosuè Zilocchi, Niccolò Cannone, Federico Ruzza, Maxime Mbanda, Guglielmo Palazzani, Carlo Canna.