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Key player returns for Italy

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Italy head coach Gonzalo Quesada has made four changes to his side that will take on Ireland in the Round Two match of the Six Nations at Lansdowne Road on Sunday.

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Star Ange Capuozzo returns to the starting XV after he missed Italy’s narrow defeat to England in the opening round.

Capuozzo will take the No.15 jersey with Lorenzo Pani and Monty Ioane at the wings.

Juan Ignacio Brex and Tommaso Menoncello will be the centre pairing, while Stephen Varney will be at scrumhalf and he will partner with Paolo Garbisi as the new halfback combination.

In the pack, captain Michele Lamaro will wear the No.8 jersey with Manuel Zuliani and debutant Alessandro Izekor completing the back row.

Federico Ruzza and Niccolò Cannone will be in the second row, while Pietro Ceccarelli, Gianmarco Lucchesi and Danilo Fischetti will be in the front row.

Italy: 15 Ange Capuozzo, 14 Lorenzo Pani, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Tommaso Menoncello, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Michele Lamaro (captain), 7 Manuel Zuliani, 6 Alessandro Izekor, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: 16 Giacomo Nicotera, 17 Mirco Spagnolo, 18 Giosue Zilocchi, 19 Andrea Zambonin, 20 Ross Vintcent, 21 Martin Page-Relo, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Federico Mori.

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Date: Sunday, February 11
Venue: Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Kick-off: 15.00 (15.00 GMT; 16.00 Italy time)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France) & Luc Ramos (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

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