Jump to main content
  • Men' Six Nations
  • Womens
  • U20 Six Nations

Italy name XV for opening Women’s Six Nations battle

Italy name XV for opening Women’s Six Nations battle
  • Andrea Di Giandomenico names XV to play Wales
  • Elisa Giordano set to skipper the side and Sara Barattin to win a record 92nd cap
  • Full-back Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi in line for her Italy debut

Italy coach Andrea Di Giandomenico insists his team aren’t getting carried away with thoughts of what they could achieve in this year’s Women’s Six Nations, ahead of their Championship opener against Wales in Cardiff.

The Azzurre secured their best-ever finish in the competition in 2019, with three wins, a draw and a defeat earning them second place overall and setting them a tough target to topple this time around.

But while their impressive performances on the pitch may have raised attention all over the world, Di Giandomenico is adamant his players are taking each game as they come with a tough trip to Arms Park first up.

“We are aware that the results we achieved in the tournament last year have raised peoples’ expectations of us,” he said. “But we won’t let that affect our goals.

“Our first target is to immediately find our feet in the Championship, and we will stay focused on our own performance while trying to raise the quality of the game.

“We’ve enjoyed some good performances on Welsh soil in the past, but we know the game will be as challenging as last year, when we drew 3-3 in Lecce.

“Wales are a solid team – especially among the forwards – and we know we’re in for a tough challenge right from the start of the Championship.”

Elisa Giordano will lead the Italian team against last year’s fourth-place side, with Ilaria Arrighetti and Giada Franco joining her in the back row.

Sara Barattin – already Italy’s highest appearance maker – will win her 92nd cap at scrum-half, alongside Beatrice Rigoni at No.10.

Elsewhere, Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi is set to make her international debut at full-back, with Maria Magatti and Sofia Stefan named either side of her on the wings.

Italy XV: 15 Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi, 14 Maria Magatti, 13 Michela Sillari, 12 Beatrice Capomaggi, 11 Sofia Stefan, 10 Beatrice Rigoni, 9 Sara Barattin, 1 Silvia Turani, 2 Malissa Bettoni, 3 Lucia Gai, 4 Valeria Fedrighi, 5 Giordana Duca, 6 Ilaria Arrighetti, 7 Giada Franco, 8 Elisa Giordano (C)

Replacements: 16 Giulia Cerato, 17 Erika Skofca, 18 Michela Merlo, 19 Sara Tounesi, 20 Lucia Cammarano, 21 Francesca Sgorbini, 22 Laura Paganini, 23 Benedetta Mancini