Alessandro Zanni returns to Italy side for Rome clash with Scotland

Lock was forced to pull out of France game after suffering injury in warm-up

Alessandro Zanni returns to the Italy side for Saturday’s game against Scotland in Rome after pulling out of the side to face France after picking up an injury in the warm-up. Photograph: Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Lock Alessandro Zanni will return to the Italy side for Saturday's Six Nations match against Scotland at the Stadio Olimpico in the only change from the team who started the last game against France.

Italy, who have lost their first two matches, will be hoping to end a 24-game winless run in the competition stretching back four years. Their last win was against Scotland and is their solitary success in 32 games.

Zanni, who pulled out of the France match shortly before kick-off due to injury, will win his 119th cap, drawing level with former prop Martin Castrogiovanni in second on the all-time list for Italy, behind Sergio Parisse's 142 caps.

Dean Budd, who replaced Zanni, will be a replacement against Scotland.


Italy, who will be playing at home for the first time in this tournament, lost 35-22 to France, although that was an improvement on their 42-0 defeat to Wales in their opening match. Scotland have also lost their first two games.

"We have shown an improvement against France. We want to give a good performance in front of our fans at the Olympic Stadium, showing everyone our game and our true potential," Italy coach Franco Smith said.

ITALY (v Scotland, Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Saturday, 3.15pm/2.15pm Irish time): Jayden Hayward; Mattia Bellini, Luca Morisi, Carlo Canna, Matteo Minozzi; Tommaso Allan, Callum Braley; Andrea Lovotti, Luca Bigi, Giosue Zilocchi; Alessandro Zanni, Niccolo Cannone; Jake Polledri, Sebastian Negri, Braam Steyn.

Replacements: Federico Zani, Danilo Fischetti, Marco Riccioni, Marco Lazzaroni, Dean Budd, Giovanni Licata, Guglielmo Palazzani, Giulio Bisegni.