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Hayward handed Italy debut against Fiji
November 9, 2017 / 1:26 PM / a month ago

Hayward handed Italy debut against Fiji

(Reuters) - New Zealand-born fullback Jayden Hayward will debut for Italy against Fiji in Catania on Saturday after being named in the team, with uncapped Ian McKinley, who was born in Ireland, among the substitutes.

Britain Rugby Union - England v Italy - Six Nations Championship - Twickenham Stadium, London - 26/2/17 Italy head coach Conor O'Shea during the warm up before the game Reuters / Toby Melville Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Hayward, 30, moved to Treviso after a spell with the Western Force in Australia and is now qualified to play for Italy through residency.

The 27-year-old McKinley lost the sight in his left eye six years ago, which forced him to retire.

He has since resurrected his career, wearing protective goggles, in Italy for whom he became eligible at the beginning of the year.

Wing Mattia Bellini makes his return after 18 months out with a knee ligament injury while uncapped Giovanni Licata and Matteo Minozzi get a chance for a first cap off the bench.

Captain Sergio Parisse, veteran of 126 caps, returns after sitting out the tour in June where Italy played tests against the Australia, Scotland and Fiji.

Italy were beaten 22-19 by Fiji in their meeting in Suva.

Team: 15-Jayden Hayward, 14-Leonardo Sarto, 13-Tommaso Boni, 12-Tomasso Castello, 11-Mattia Bellini, 10-Carlo Canna, 9-Marcello Violi, 8-Sergio Parisse (captain), 7-Abraham Steyn, 6-Francesco Minto, 5-Dean Budd, 4-Marco Fuser, 3-Simone Ferrari, 2-Luca Bigi, 1-Andrea Lovotti

Replacements: 16-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17-Federico Zani, 18-Dario Chistolini, 19-Marco Lazzaroni, 20-Giovanni Licara, 21-Edoardo Gori, 22-Ian McKinley, 23-Matteo Minozzi.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Alison Williams and Toby Davis

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