Italy have confirmed hooker Luca Bigi as captain for the upcoming Six Nations tournament that begins on 1st February.
With Sergio Parisse set to announce retirement from international rugby later this year, Bigi has been appointed as his successor. Bigi has played 24 Tests for Italy since his debut in 2017 and also featured in three games during the recently concluded World Cup campaign in Japan.
Parisse was not named in original squad of Italy for the tournament but is expected to feature later in the competition.
"We had the opportunity to identify a group of athletes who will have a leadership role within the team and to help develop an internal culture within the group," said Italy head coach Franco Smith.
"This is certainly a great responsibility for him [Bigi] but also a chance to continue his growth as a player, supported by other athletes who we believe can positively influence the group, in a doubly-strategic role as hooker and captain."
Italy will kick-start the Six Nations campaign with a clash against Wales at Principality Stadium on 1st February.