Italy call up 4 uncapped players for Six Nations

New Italy coach Jacques Brunel has named four uncapped players in his 30-strong Six Nations squad for their opening matches against France and England.


While Brunel picked 22 players from the Rugby World Cup, the new players he called up are Aironi prop Alberto De Marchi, Crociati center Luca Morisi, Aironi winger Giovambattista Venditti and 18-year-old winger Angelo Esposito from one of the Italian federation’s academies.


Brunel, too, will be making his Italy debut in the match at his home nation France on Feb. 4, with Italy then hosting defending champion England in the Stadio Olimpico a week later.


Having signed a four-year deal to replace Nick Mallett, Brunel declared at his presentation in November that he wants Italy to become a Six Nations contender within three years.

Italy Six Nations squad

Props
Martin CASTROGIOVANNI (Leicester Tigers, 82 caps)
Lorenzo CITTADINI (Benetton Treviso, 8 caps)
Alberto DE MARCHI (Aironi Rugby, uncapped)
Andrea LO CICERO (Racing-Metro Paris, 91 caps)

Hookers
Leonardo GHIRALDINI (Benetton Treviso, 41 caps)
Tommaso D’APICE (Aironi Rugby, 3 caps)

Locks
Marco BORTOLAMI (Aironi Rugby, 88 caps)
Quintin GELDENHUYS (Aironi Rugby, 25 caps)
Antonio PAVANELLO (Benetton Treviso, 5 caps)
Cornelius VAN ZYL (Benetton Treviso, 6 caps)

Flanker/n.8s
Robert BARBIERI (Benetton Treviso, 16 caps)
Mauro BERGAMASCO (Aironi Rugby, 88 caps)
Paul DERBYSHIRE (Benetton Treviso, 16 caps)
Simone FAVARO (Aironi Rugby, 6 caps)
Sergio PARISSE (Stade Francais, 83 caps)
Alessandro ZANNI (Benetton Treviso, 58 caps)

Scrum-halves
Edoardo GORI (Benetton Treviso, 9 caps)
Fabio SEMENZATO (Benetton Treviso, 8 caps)

Fly-halves
Kristopher BURTON (Benetton Treviso, 9 caps)
Luciano ORQUERA (Aironi Rugby, 27 caps)

Centres
Tommaso BENVENUTI (Benetton Treviso, 12 caps)
Gonzalo CANALE (Clermont-Auvergne, 72 caps)
Luca MORISI (Banca Monte Parma Crociati, uncapped)
Alberto SGARBI (Benetton Treviso, 14 caps)

Wings
Angelo ESPOSITO (Ruggers Tarvisium/Accademia FIR, uncapped)
Roberto QUARTAROLI (Aironi Rugby, 3 caps)
Giulio TONIOLATTI (Aironi Rugby, 8 caps)
Giovambattista VENDITTI (Aironi Rugby, uncapped)

Fullbacks
Andrea MASI (Aironi Rugby, 64 caps)
Luke MCLEAN (Benetton Treviso, 33 caps)

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