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Rugby World Cup Italy, Scotland resume hostilities after Six Nations thriller

Italy and Scotland will resume hostilities for the first time since their Six Nations thriller in February, as both continue to build to the Rugby World Cup.

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Italy, Scotland resume hostilities after Six Nations thriller play

Italy, Scotland resume hostilities after Six Nations thriller

(Omni Sports)

Italy and Scotland will resume hostilities for the first time since their Six Nations thriller in February, as both continue to build to the Rugby World Cup.

The Italians won on Scottish soil for the first time since 2007, with a 79th-minute penalty try at Murrayfield helping the visitors steal victory - as Scotland went on to finish the tournament winless.

It proved to be Italy's only Six Nations joy, and the one notable difference from their clash six months back to Saturday's fixture in Turin will be the absence of the Italians' first-choice fly-half Kelly Haimona.

Haimona was ruled out of Rugby World Cup contention due to a broken arm suffered in their Six Nations finale against Wales, leaving Tommaso Allan and Carlo Canna as those in line to replace him in the starting XV.

But with Italy set to play their first Test since their 41-point loss to the Welsh, utility Luke McLean said he and his team-mates were hungry to get stuck into a contest.

"Haven't really spoken too much about the [World Cup] pool stages or anything about those games, obviously we're just at the moment looking to Saturday - all the boys are excited to be finally playing a game of rugby. It's been a while now," the Benetton Treviso man told Omnisport.

French coach Jacques Brunel is set to lead Italy into the World Cup for the first time, and McLean said the 61-year-old was calm one month out from the tournament starting - and was staying in the moment.

"He's been relaxed so far - you need to understand the World Cup's still a while off," McLean said, with Italy's first World Cup match against France on September 19.

"Just making sure we've got all the detail... we've spent a fair bit of time, even today [Tuesday], watching some video of Scotland, making sure we know everything that they could throw at us this weekend, and just looking to get some of that detail in [to our heads].

"He's [Brunel] a big believer in playing what's in front of you, and he's pretty confident as well, just like us, and looking forward to the World Cup."

Vern Cotter is set to toy with his Scotland line-up in Turin, with second-rower Grant Gilchrist to captain the side with a new-look pack.

New Zealand-born flanker John Hardie could make his debut for the Scots, the 27-year-old included in the 25-man squad to tackle the Italians.

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