Parisse returns to captain Italy against Boks

Italy captain Sergio Parisse was welcomed back into the squad Monday as coach Nick Mallett unveiled his 26-man squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa.


Parisse missed the last Six Nations due to a serious knee injury so his return will be a huge boost to a side which finished last in the tournament.


Argentina-born Parisse became the first Italian player to be nominated for the IRB player of the year award in 2008 although he was beaten to that accolade by Welshman Shane Williams.


Also returning to Mallett’s squad is scrum-half Simon Picone, who played in Italy’s Six Nations opener before being subsequently sidelined through injury, Italy will travel to South Africa on June 13 and will play two matches against the World Cup-winning Springboks on June 19 in Witbank and a week later in East London.


Forwards:


Matias Aguero (Saracens/ENG), Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Francais/FRA), Marco Bortolami (Gloucester/ENG), Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester/ENG), Lorenzo Cittadini (Treviso), Carlo Antonio Del Fava (Viadana), Paul Derbyshire (Padova), Quintin Geldenhuys (Viadana), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Treviso), Fabio Ongaro (Saracens/ENG), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais/FRA, cap.), Salvatore Perugini (Bayonne/FRA), Josh Sole (Viadana), Manoa Vosawai (Parma), Alessandro Zanni (Treviso)


Backs:


Mirco Bergamasco (Stade Francais/FRA), Riccardo Bocchino (Rovigo), Gonzalo Canale (Clermont/FRA), Craig Gower (Bayonne/FRA), Andrea Masi (Racing Metro/FRA), Luke McLean (Treviso), Simon Picone (Treviso), Matteo Pratichetti (Viadana), Kaine Robertson (Viadana), Michele Sepe (Viadana), Tito Tebaldi (Gran Parma)

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