The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Frenchman Brunel takes the reins from Nick Mallett following a spell coaching Top 14 side Perpignan and could not have asked for a tougher opening assignment than against his compatriots, who are still smarting from last year’s shock defeat in Rome.
But Brunel has shown he is not afraid to mix things up with only full-back Andrea Masi retaining his place from the Azzurri’s last game – the 36-6 World Cup defeat to Ireland.
There is a new half-back pairing as Kris Burton and Edoardo Gori reunite their club partnership along with Treviso centres Alberto Sgarbi and Tommaso Benvenuti. Luke McLean makes up the back three alongside 21-year-old Venditti and Masi – who is the only back with more than 50 caps under his belt.
The pack is a far more experienced unit anchored by talismanic captain Sergio Parisse and based on the formidable scrummaging strength of Martin Castrogiovanni and Andrea Lo Cicero.
In the second row, Quintin Geldenhuys partners Cornelius van Zyl with Marco Bortolami on the bench while another familiar face Mauro Bergamasco is absent with Robert Barbieri starting at blindside and Alessandro Zanni at openside.
Tobias Botes would also make his debut off the bench where he is named among the replacements alongside 72-cap centre Gonzalo Camacho.
In stark contrast to previous years the vast majority of players are domestic based with Treviso and Aironi providing 18 of the 22 players.
15. Andrea Masi (Aironi Rugby)
14. Giovanbattista Venditti (Aironi Rugby)
13. Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton Treviso)
12. Alberto Sgarbi (Benetton Treviso)
11. Luke McLean (Benetton Treviso)
10. Kristopher Burton (Benetton Treviso)
9. Edoardo Gori (Benetton Treviso)
1. Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing-Metro)
2. Leonardo Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso)
3. Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers)
4. Cornelius Van Zyl (Benetton Treviso)
5. Quintin Geldenhuys (Aironi Rugby)
6. Alessandro Zanni (Benetton Treviso)
7. Robert Barbieri (Benetton Treviso)
8. Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais)
16. Tommaso D’Apice (Aironi Rugby)
17. Lorenzo Cittadini (Benetton Treviso)
18. Marco Bortolami (Aironi Rugby)
19. Simone Favaro (Aironi Rugby)
20. Fabio Semenzato (Benetton Treviso)
21. Tobias Botes (Benetton Treviso)
22. Gonzalo Canale (Clermont-Auvergne)