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Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Zanon running at Wesley Fofana on his debut.
# rwc warm-ups
Centre Zanon wins second start, McKinley on Italy bench for Ireland clash
Conor O’Shea will field just three of the starters who ran France close at the tail end of the Six Nations.

EXCITING BENETTON CENTRE Marco Zanon will pick up his second international cap for Italy when they begin their World Cup warm-ups against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).

The 21-year-old made his Test bow in the Azzurri’s closely fought defeat to France in the final round of the Six Nations and twice came close to scoring a match-turning try before Damian Penaud crossed late to seal a 14-25 win for Les Bleus.

Zanon is one of just three players who started the Six Nations closer to again feature in the starting XV this weekend. The pack is all changed with Dean Budd captaining the side from the second row, where he is joined by Allessandro Zanni.

The back row features Maxime Mbanda, Giovanni Licata a year on from his last Test appearance and Jimmy Tuivaiti who featured off the bench when the Azzurri lost 54-7 to Ireland in Chicago last year.

Ian McKinley James Crombie / INPHO McKinley on the field during the Six Nations loss to Ireland. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Dublin-born out-half Ian McKinley is among the replacements for Conor O’Shea’s side, deputising Carlo Canna, while fullback Mateo Minozzi is set for a return after lengthy injury.

Zanon is moved from 13 to 12 and is partnered in midfield by Tomasso Benvenuti with Angelo Esposito and Edoardo Padovani – the two other common starters with the side who ran France close – joined in the back three by Giulio Bisegni.

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Italy (RWC 2019 warm-up v Ireland)

15. Edoardo Padovani
14. Angelo Esposito
13. Tomasso Benvenuti
12. Marco Zanon
11. Giulio Besigni
10. Carlo Canna
9. Giuglielmo Palazzani

1. Nicola Quaglio
2. Olivero Fabiani
3. Marco Riccioni
4. Allessandro Zanni
5. Dean Budd (Capt.)
6. Giovanni Licata
7. Maxime Mbanda
8. Jimmy Tuivaiti

Replacements:

16. Federico Zani
17. Andrea Lovotti
18. Simone Ferrari
19. Marco Lazzardni
20. Renato Giammarioli
21. Calum Bradley
22. Ian McKinley
23. Mateo Minozzi

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