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Lamaro to captain Italy away in Portugal


Michele Lamaro will lead a new-look Italy side as they kick off their summer tour against Portugal in Lisbon.

The Azzurri come into the game looking to build on their Guinness Six Nations success against Wales on Super Saturday, with the two main protagonists from that dramatic finale, Ange Capuozzo and Edoardo Padovani, both starting.

They will be joined by Jacopo Trulla in the back three, with a familiar centre pairing of Leonardo Marin and Juan Ignacio Brex.

In the half-backs, Giacomo da Re is set for his Test debut in the absence of Paolo Garbisi, while Alessandro Fusco earns a first Test start.

Lamaro is joined in the back row by Giovanni Pettinelli and Renato Giammarioli, making his first Test appearance of the year, while Andrea Zambonin is handed a first Test start alongside David Sisi in the second row.

Up front, Simone Ferrari returns to the team, starting next to Hame Faiva and Danilo Fischetti, while on the bench Ion Neculai and Manfredi Albanese could also make their international debuts.

Head coach Kieran Crowley said: “This summer tour is an important step in development. Step by step we will face the challenges of this schedule, focusing on our next opponent. We have worked well and if we play our best rugby, we can get good results.”

Italy team to take on Portugal:

15 Ange Capuozzo (Grenoble)
14 Jacopo Trulla (Zebre Parma)
13 Juan Ignacio Brex (Benetton Rugby)
12 Leonardo Marin (Benetton Rugby)
11 Edoardo Padovani (Benetton Rugby)
10 Giacomo Da Re (FEMI-CZ Rovigo/Benetton Rugby)
9 Alessandro Fusco (Fiamme Oro Rugby/Zebre Parma)

8 Renato Giammarioli (Zebre Parma)
7 Michele Lamaro (Benetton Rugby) (captain)
6 Giovanni Pettinelli (Benetton Rugby)
5 Andrea Zambonin (Zebre Parma)
4 David Sisi (Zebre Parma)
3 Simone Ferrari (Benetton Rugby)
2 Epalahame Faiva (Benetton Rugby)
1 Danilo Fischetti (Zebre Parma)


16 Gianmarco Lucchesi (Benetton Rugby)
17 Cherif Traorè (Benetton Rugby)
18 Ion Neculai (Zebre Parma)
19 Marco Fuser (Newcastle Falcons)
20 Federico Ruzza (Benetton Rugby)
21 Manuel Zuliani (Benetton Rugby)
22 Manfredi Albanese (Transvecta Calvisano)
23 Marco Zanon (Pau)