Italy coach Smith brings in Minozzi for Six Nations finale against England

Rome (AFP) –


Italy coach Franco Smith on Thursday made just one change to the side thrashed by Ireland at the weekend for Saturday's delayed Six Nations closer against England.

Matteo Minozzi replaces Jayden Hayward at full-back after missing the 50-17 defeat in Dublin because he was playing for Wasps in the English Premiership final.

Otherwise, Smith stayed loyal to a side that is assured of a fifth successive wooden spoon and faces a tricky afternoon against an England side that can win the title with a bonus-point win.

He has kept faith with 20-year-old stand-off Paolo Garbisi, who scored 12 of Italy's 17 points on his debut against the Irish.

He is the latest addition to an inexperienced side in which 10 of the 23 have fewer than 10 Test caps.

"We are a young team, which wants to emerge," said Smith in a press release from the Italian Rugby Federation.

"We continue our journey to build a clear identity.

"In Ireland, there were some highlights in our game and some positive elements, but we are aware that we have a lot of work ahead of us."

The Italians, who have not won a match in the tournament since 2015, have conceded 144 points in the first four matches, scoring 39.

Italy team (15-1):

Matteo Minozzi; Eduardo Padovani, Luca Morisi, Carlo Canna, Mattia Bellini; Paolo Garbisi, Marcello Violi; Jake Polledri, Braam Steyn, Sebastian Negri, Niccolo Cannone, Marco Lazzaroni, Giosue Zilocchi, Luca Bigi, Danillo Fischetti

Replacements: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Simone Ferrari, Pietro Ceccarelli, Dave Sisi, Johan Meyer, Maxime Mbanda, Guglielmo Palazzani, Federico Mori