Braam Steyn will replace injured captain Sergio Parisse at No 8 in one of five changes to Italy’s starting lineup to face Ireland in Rome on Sunday.
Parisse has been ruled out of the match with a concussion that he picked up in the loss to Wales in the previous round. In his place, Steyn shifts from flank to No 8, with Maxime Mbanda coming into the starting lineup.
Experienced hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini takes the captaincy for the match.
There are two starting debuts in the Italy pack. Jimmy Tuivaiti makes his first start in place of the ill Sebastian Negri, while lock Federico Ruzza will also make his first start in the second row.
There is one further change in the backs as Tito Tebaldi has recovered from injury and forms the halfback partnership with Tommaso Allan.
Italy – 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Edoardo Padovani, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Braam Steyn, 7 Maxime Mbanda , 6 Jimmy Tuivaiti, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Federico Ruzza , 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Subs: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Cherif Traore’, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 David Sisi, 20 Alessandro Zanni, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Tommaso Castello.
Photo: Paolo Bruno/Getty Images