Six Nations

Haimona recalled by Italy for Scotland clash

Jacques Brunel (Getty Images)
Jacques Brunel (Getty Images)

Milan - Italy coach Jacques Brunel has recalled flyhalf Kelly Haimona to his starting XV for their 'wooden spoon' clash against Scotland at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday after Carlo Canna failed to recover in time from injury.

New Azzurri flyhalf Canna largely impressed in his opening two Six Nations games for Italy -- a narrow defeat away to France (23-21) and a home thrashing by tournament co-favourites England (40-9) two weeks ago.

But his failure to recover fully in time from a knock means New Zealand-born Haimona will make his first start of his year's tournament in a match that could decide the destination of the wooden spoon.

Haimona, who missed last autumn's World Cup due to injury after initially impressing for Italy throughout 2015, will partner scrumhalf Edoardo Gori who, at just 25 years old, will earn his 50th cap against Scotland.

Having seen Italy come close to upsetting France in their tournament opener, Brunel has sought to replicate his starting XV from their Stade de France clash as much as possible.

Elsewhere, David Odiete replaces Luke McLean at fullback having impressed in Paris but missed the game against England due to a calf problem.

Meanwhile, lock Joshua Furno will make his first start of the tournament when he replaces George Biagi, who has been ruled out after suffering a fractured rib against England.

Italy have been given a boost, meanwhile, with the return to the front row of experienced hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini, who will earn his 81st cap against the Scots.

Italy's leading cap-holder, Martin Castrogiovanni (117 appearances), starts on the replacements bench, while emblematic captain Sergio Parisse will earn his 117th cap when he starts at No.8.

Scotland have beaten Italy nine times in 17 meetings between the sides, with Italy winning seven for one draw.

Vern Cotter's men will travel to Rome as favourites for Saturday's clash having come close in successive defeats to England (15-9) and Wales (27-23).

Italy team for the Six Nations match against Scotland at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday (kick-off 1425 GMT):

Italy

15 David Odiete; 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Mattia Bellini; 10 Kelly Haimona, 9 Edoardo Gori; 8 Sergio Parisse (cap), 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Francesco Minto; 5 Joshua Furno, 4 Marco Fuser; 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lovotti

Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Matteo Zanusso, Martin Castrogiovanni, Valerio Bernabo, Andries Van Schalkwyk, Guglielmo Palazzani, Edoardo Padovani, Andrea Pratichetti

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