Mallett names 24 strong squad for Springboks

Italy’s South African coach Nick Mallett on Wednesday named a 24-man squad for his team’s Test Match against his countrymen in Udine on Saturday.

There were no surprises in the squad picked to face the world champions with the basis of the squad beaten 20-6 by New Zealand last weekend retained.

But despite South Africa’s three-game losing streak, the Italians — on a 12 game losing streak themselves — are not getting carried away.

“I think it will be a tougher match than that of last Saturday because the South Africans are more physical than New Zealand,” said winger Mirco Bergamasco.

“We will have to be more present in defence, effective with the high ball and careful with their kicking game.

“After the game against the All Blacks there was no self-gratification in the group, we can’t allow ourselves to lower the tension because against opponents such as South Africa, you can pay dearly for any mistakes.”

Full squad

Forwards (14): Matias Aguero (Saracens/ENG), Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Francais/FRA), Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester/ENG), Carlo Antonio Del Fava (Viadana), Simone Favaro (Parma), Quintin Geldenhuys (Viadana), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Treviso), Fabio Ongaro (Saracens), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais/FRA – capt), Antonio Pavanello (Treviso), Salvatore Perugini (Bayonne/FRA), Ignacio Rouyet (Treviso), Josh Sole (Viadana), Alessandro Zanni (Treviso)

Backs (10): Mirco Bergamasco (Stade Francais/FRA), Gonzalo Canale (Clermont/FRA), Gonzalo Garcia (Treviso), Craig Gower (Bayonne/FRA), Luke McLean (Treviso), Simon Picone (Treviso), Matteo Pratichetti (Viadana), Kaine Robertson (Viadana), Alberto Sgarbi (Treviso), Tito Tebaldi (Gran Parma)


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