Via The Six Nations
ITALY head coach Kieran Crowley has named a 34-man training squad ahead of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations.
The squad are set to meet for a camp in Verona between January 22-27 and World Rugby Men’s 15s Breakthrough Player of the Year Ange Capuozzo spearheads the list of those included having burst onto the international scene during last year’s Championship.
Michele Lamaro will once more captain the Azzurri, though Paolo Garbisi misses out with injury and Monty Ioane is unavailable.
Garbisi’s younger brother Alessandro is included while there are four uncapped players in a youthful squad that contains just one player – Tommaso Allan – with over a half century of caps.
Props Matteo Nocera, Luca Rizzoli, and Mirco Spagnolo will all hope to be in contention for their first caps, while hooker Marco Manfredi is also in line for a maiden appearance.
“We can’t wait to take the field in the Six Nations,” said Crowley.
“Over the last year we have worked hard to develop an identity as a team and earn respect and credibility.
“We have some new players and some returning players and this Championship will give us all the opportunity to continue building on that foundation we have created.”
Italy will open their campaign at the Stadio Olimpico against reigning Grand Slam champions France before travelling to Twickenham to take on England, with the squad for those two matches to be finalised on January 28.
Ireland and Wales will then both be welcomed to Rome before the Azzurri end their Championship in Edinburgh against Scotland.
Italy squad for 2023 Guinness Six Nations:
Pietro Ceccarelli (Brive), Simone Ferrari (Benetton Rugby), Danilo Fischetti (London Irish), Matteo Nocera (Zebre Parma), Marco Riccioni (Saracens Rugby), Luca Rizzoli (Zebre Parma), Mirco Spagnolo (Petrarca Rugby), Federico Zani (Benetton Rugby), Luca Bigi (Zebre Parma), Marco Manfredi (Zebre Parma), Giacomo Nicotera (Benetton Rugby), Niccolò Cannon (Benetton Rugby), Marco Fuser (Massy), Federico Ruzza (Benetton Rugby), Andrea Zambonin (Zebre Parma), Lorenzo Cannon (Benetton Rugby), Michele Lamaro (Benetton Rugby), Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby), Giovanni Pettinelli (Benetton Rugby), Jake Polledri (Gloucester Rugby), Manuel Zuliani (Benetton Rugby)
Alessandro Garbisi (Benetton Rugby), Stephen Varney (Gloucester Rugby), Alessandro Fusco (Zebre Parma), Tommaso Allan (Harlequins), Giacomo Da Re (Benetton Rugby), Juan Ignacio Brex (Benetton Rugby), Enrico Lucchin (Zebre Parma), Tommaso Menoncello (Benetton Rugby), Luca Morisi (London Irish), Pierre Bruno (Zebre Parma), Ange Capuozzo (Stade Toulousain), Matteo Minozzi (Benetton Rugby), Edoardo Padovani (Benetton Rugby)