Paolo Garbisi back in Italy's line-up for Ireland Six Nations clash

Paolo Garbisi celebrates Italy victory over Wales in 2022 Six Nations Paolo Garbisi kicked the winning conversion against Wales last year (David Davies/PA)

Italy fly-half Paolo Garbisi will make his first appearance of this year’s Six Nations as part of three changes for Saturday’s match with Ireland.

Garbisi missed the opening two rounds of the championship due to a knee injury but is recalled in place of Harlequins’ Tommaso Allan after returning to action for Montpellier last weekend.

The 22-year-old, who has played just once for his country so far this season, joins Gloucester’s Stephen Varney in the half-back positions.

Pierre Bruno has been restored to the left wing for the clash in Rome, which pushes Tommaso Menoncello to inside centre, with Luca Morisi dropping to the bench.

The other change to Kieran Crowley’s starting XV following the Azzurri’s 31-14 round-two defeat to England sees Simone Ferrari come in for Marco Riccioni at tighthead prop.

Ange Capuozzo, World Rugby’s breakthrough player of the year for 2022, continues at full-back.

Italy, who began the tournament with a narrow loss to France, are bidding for a first win over Ireland since a 22-15 success at Stadio Olimpico a decade ago.

“Every match has a different story,” said head coach Crowley, according to the Italian rugby federation website.

“We will face Ireland aware of what we did against France and England with the aim of improving in some areas that will make us more competitive.

“It will be a tough game against the number one team in the world and we too can’t wait to face them.”

Italy team to play Ireland

Forwards: 1 Danilo Fischetti (London Irish), 2 Giacomo Nicotera (Benetton Rugby), 3 Simone Ferrari (Benetton Rugby), 4 Niccolò Cannone (Benetton Rugby), 5 Federico Ruzza (Benetton Rugby), 6 Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby), 7 Michele Lamaro (Captain, Benetton Rugby), 8 Lorenzo Cannone (Benetton Rugby)

Backs: 9 Stephen Varney (Gloucester Rugby), 10 Paolo Garbisi (Montpellier), 11 Pierre Bruno (Zebre Parma), 12 Tommaso Menoncello (Benetton Rugby), 13 Juan Ignacio Brex (Benetton Rugby), 14 Edoardo Padovani (Benetton Rugby), 15 Ange Capuozzo (Stade Toulousain)

Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi (Zebre Parma), 17 Federico Zani (Benetton Rugby), 18 Marco Riccioni (Saracens Rugby), 19 Edoardo Iachizzi (Vannes), 20 Giovanni Pettinelli (Benetton Rugby), 21 Alessandro Fusco (Zebre Parma), 22 Luca Morisi (London Irish), 23 Tommaso Allan (Harlequins)

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