|Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome Date: Sunday, 5 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
|Coverage: Watch highlights on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer and online from 18:00 GMT; radio & text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.
France begin the defence of their Six Nations title with a trip to Rome on Sunday to face an Italy side looking for a first home win since March 2013.
Les Bleus are on a 13-match unbeaten run and are aiming to become the first nation to win back-to-back Grand Slams since the tournament expanded in 2000.
The Italians have picked up the wooden spoon in each of the past seven campaigns but after their thrilling 22-21 win over Wales in Cardiff last year, the Azzurri have their sights set on a higher finish.
Italy fly-half Paolo Garbisi has failed to shake off a knee problem and is replaced by Harlequins’ Tommaso Allan. The back three is spearheaded by France-based full-back Ange Capuozzo, while second row Niccolo Cannone and his back-row brother Lorenzo both start.
France hand a debut to Lyon wing Ethan Dumortier, with the versatile Yoram Moefana playing at inside centre alongside Gael Fickou.
The pack is as expected, with Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand and Uini Atonio making up a familiar front row, while Thibaud Flament starts in the second row with the returning Paul Willemse. Racing 92 scrum-half Nolann Le Garrec is set to make his debut from the bench.
Andrew Cotter: For all the progress that Italy have made under Kieran Crowley, highlighted by wins over Wales and Australia last year, there is still a gulf between these two sides.
The Azzurri are without their first-choice fly-half Garbisi, as well as winger Monty Ioane who has club duties back in his native Australia. Full-back Capuozzo is certainly worth getting excited about, but for every one of him France have many, with the likes of Dupont, Ntamack, Fickou and Penaud, all likely to be attacking off the front-foot ball provided by a dominant pack.
Italy might be improving, but this should be a winning start for the champions.
View from both camps
Italy head coach Kieran Crowley: “If you took a poll right now asking where people think teams are going to finish in the Six Nations, I would picture Italy would be sixth.
“We’ll be the underdogs again, which is fine. We’ll just concentrate on what we do.”
France head coach Fabien Galthie: “We have left little to chance, we are preparing for chaos and all the possible scenarios.
“Italy are a magnificent side, who are reaping the rewards. They are a sublime opponent. It is an extraordinary challenge.”
Italy: 15-Ange Capuozzo; 14-Pierre Bruno, 13-Juan Ignacio Brex, 12-Luca Morisi, 11-Tommaso Menoncello; 10-Tommaso Allan, 9-Stephen Varney; 1-Danilo Fischetti, 2-Giacomo Nicotera, 3-Simone Ferrari, 4-Niccolo Cannone, 5-Federico Ruzza, 6-Sebastian Negri, 7-Michele Lamaro (capt), 8-Lorenzo Cannone.
Replacements: 16-Luca Bigi, 17-Federico Zani, 18-Pietro Ceccarelli, 19-Edoardo Iachizzi, 20-Giovanni Pettinelli, 21-Manuel Zuliani, 22-Alessandro Fusco, 23-Edoardo Padovani.
France: 15-Thomas Ramos; 14-Damian Penaud, 13-Gael Fickou, 12-Yoram Moefana, 11-Ethan Dumortier; 10-Romain Ntamack, 9-Antoine Dupont (capt); 1-Cyril Baille, 2-Julien Marchand, 3-Uini Atonio, 4-Thibaud Flament, 5-Paul Willemse, 6-Anthony Jelonch, 7-Charles Ollivon, 8-Gregory Alldritt.
Replacements: 16-Gaetan Barlot, 17-Reda Wardi, 18-Sipili Falatea, 19-Romain Taofifenua, 20-Thomas Lavault, 21-Sekou Macalou, 22-Nolann Le Garrec, 23-Matthieu Jalibert.
- Italy have won two of their past 23 Six Nations fixtures with France, losing the last nine in a row.
- The Azzurri’s Six Nations victories over the Les Bleus both came at home, in 2011 and 2013.
- Italy ended a run of 36 successive Six Nations defeats when they beat Wales 22-21 in Cardiff – their last match of the 2022 tournament.
- Kieran Crowley’s side last registered a home Six Nations win in March 2013 when they beat Ireland 22-15.
- Michele Lamaro completed 86 tackles in the 2022 tournament, 16 more than any other player.
- France completed their fourth Six Nations Grand Slam in 2022, the joint most of any nation along with Wales.
- Les Bleus are on a 13-game unbeaten run, the longest in their history, and Fabien Galthie’s team won all 10 of their Test matches last year.
- The French had a 90% tackle success rate in last year’s competition, the highest of any nation.
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Touch judges: Nic Berry (Australia) & Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)