ROME – Italy's Irish head coach Conor O'Shea on Friday named a team with seven players making their Six Nations debut to tackle champions England in Rome on Saturday.
New Zealand-born lock Dean Budd will line up alongside flankers Sebastian Negri, who was born in Zimbabwe, and Renato Giammarioli, alongside prop Simone Ferrari in a largely inexperienced pack.
Full-back Matteo Minozzi and centre pairing Tommaso Boni and Tommaso Castello also have no Six Nations experience.
On top of that, it's all change at half-back with Marcello Violi picked alongside Tommaso Allan with O'Shea's usual partnership of Edoardo Gori and Carlo Canna confined to the bench.
O'Shea isn't kidding himself that his untried outfit will have their work cut out against a team they have never beaten in 23 previous encounters.
“Maybe on Sunday after the match it will be a difficult evening, but we prepare to win matches and the wonderful thing about sport is that anything can happen,” said O'Shea.
“A year ago, 12 minutes from the end England were winning 17-15 --- we'll see how it goes this time.”
Italy had befuddled England with a 'no ruck' tactic yet Eddie Jones's team still ran out 36-15 winners after three late tries.
While often on the wrong end of a thrashing at Twickenham, Italy have run England close three times in Rome over the last decade, twice losing by four points and once by five.
However, they conceded a combined 92 points in their last two home matches against the men in white.
Captain Sergio Parisse will win his 130th cap on Sunday while lock Alessandro Zanni will bring up a century of caps and hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini will reach 90.
But nine of the starting XV have fewer than 10 caps.
“We have players who maybe aren't very well known abroad but I can assure you we'll stay 100 percent focussed on what we have to do -- these players can cause a surprise,” insisted O'Shea.
This will be O'Shea's second Six Nations in charge of an Italy side that hasn't won a match since beating Scotland in 2015.
The Italian team:
Matteo Minozzi; Tommaso Benvenuti, Tommaso Boni, Tommaso Castello, Mattia Bellini; Tommaso Allan, Marcelo Violi; Sergio Parisse (capt), Renato Giammarioli, Sebastian Negri; Dean Budd, Alessandro Zanni; Simone Ferrari, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Andrea Lovotti
Replaçements: Luca Bigi, Nicola Quaglio, Tiziano Pasquali, George Biagi, Maxime Mbanda, Edorado Gori, Carlo Canna, Jayden Hayward