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Furlan captains Italy from the wing against England

Furlan captains Italy from the wing against England

Manuela Furlan

Manuela Furlan will captain Italy from the wing after being named in the side to take on England in their opening game of the Women’s Six Nations.

The Azzurre have named an experienced side with the likes of Furlan, Sara Barattin and Michela Sillari all lining up in the backs.

However Furlan shifts from her familiar role at full-back to slot in on the left wing, with Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi starting at full-back instead.

There is a strong back row with Elisa Giordano, Giada Franco and Ilaria Arrighetti, while Lucia Gai wins her 70th cap at tighthead prop.

Two uncapped players could make their debuts after being named on the bench, Gaia Maris and Alyssa D’Inca, while Beatrice Rigoni and Sofia Stefan are also among the replacements.

Head coach Andrea di Giandomenico said: “We can’t wait to get out onto the pitch and play again. The Six Nations is one of the most important stages in the world of rugby and we will kick off our 2021 competition against one of the most in-form teams in world rugby. Our focus will be on our performance and trying to play our best rugby.”

Italy team to take on England

15 Vittoria OSTUNI MINUZZI (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 4 caps)
14 Aura MUZZO (Arredissima Villorba, 14 caps)
13 Michela SILLARI (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 57 caps)
12 Maria MAGATTI (CUS Milano, 33 caps)
11 Manuela FURLAN (Arredissima Villorba, 75 caps) – capitano
10 Veronica MADIA (HBS Colorno, 19 caps )
9 Sara BARATTIN (Arredissima Villorba, 95 caps)

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1 Erika SKOFCA (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 2 caps)
2 Lucia CAMMARANO (Rugby Belve Neroverdi, 24 caps)
3 Lucia GAI (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 70 caps)
4 Valeria FEDRIGHI (Stade Toulousain, Francia, 22 caps)
5 Giordana DUCA (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 18 caps)
6 Ilaria ARRIGHETTI (Stade Rennais, Francia, 45 caps)
7 Giada FRANCO (HBS Colorno, 17 caps)
8 Elisa GIORDANO (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 43 caps)

Replacements

16 Melissa BETTONI (Stade Rennais, Francia, 58 caps)
17 Gaia MARIS (Valsugana Rugby Padova, uncapped)
18 Sara TOUNESI (ASM Romagnat, Francia, 16 caps)
19 Isabella LOCATELLI (Rugby Monza 1949, 23 caps)
20 Beatrice VERONESE (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 4 caps)
21 Beatrice RIGONI (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 43 caps)
22 Sofia STEFAN (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 56 caps)
23 Alyssa D’INCA’ (Arredissima Villorba, uncapped)