Four new faces in Italian squad

Scrumhalf Fabio Semenzato and fullback Tommaso Benvenuti were plucked from Italian rugby champion Treviso to make their debut for Italy in next month’s autumn internationals against New Zealand, South Africa and Samoa.


Coach Nick Mallett named four new caps on Thursday, including Parma flanker Francesco Minto and Gran Parma center Giovanbattista Venditti.

Italy will meet the All Blacks on Nov. 14 at the San Siro in Milan, the world champion Springboks in Udine on Nov. 21 and Samoa in Ascoli on Nov. 28.

“Playing the All Blacks and Springboks, who are the two best teams in the world is a way of gauging our progress after the summer tour,” Mallett said.


“We gave a lot of youngsters their debuts on it. I think we should be seeing a few more debutants in the first two matches.


“Of course, the match we are aiming to win is against Samoa, someone who Italy have never beaten in the past.


“Against New Zealand and South Africa we have to show that we can be competitive.

Every moment in which we show we can compete with higher-ranked opponents represents a moment of growth for the whole of Italian rugby.” —




Matias Aguero, Martin Castrogiovanni, Lorenzo Cittadini, Carlo Del Fava, Paul Derbyshire, Simone Favaro, Carlo Festuccia, Quintin Geldenhuys, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Francesco Minto, Sergio Parisse (captain), Antonio Pavanello, Salvatore Perugini, Tommaso Reato, Ignacio Rouyet, Josh Sole, Manoa Vosawai, Alessandro Zanni.




Tommaso Benvenuti, Mirco Bergamasco, Gonzalo Canale, Gonzalo Garcia, Craig Gower, Luke McLean, Luciano Orquera, Matteo Pratichetti, Kaine Robertson, Fabio Semenzato, Michele Sepe, Alberto Sgarbi, Tito Tebaldi, Giovanbattista Venditti.

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