Friday, July 22, 2011

Six Argentine players in Italian Rugby World Cup Squad

Italian international rugby coach, Nick Mallett has finalized his 30 man squad for Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand. The squad features the return of veteran world class backrower, Mauro Bergamasco following injury and will be captained by Sergio Parisse. The pair of Parisse and Bergamasco will be playing in their third Rugby World Cup and their performances will be crucial to Italy´s chances in the tournament. Parisse is from the Argentine city of La Plata and is one of six players from Argentina. He will be joined by tight head prop, Martín Castrogiovanni from Paraná who is also to compete at this third Rugby World Cup, the scrumhalf-flyhalf combination of Pablo Canavosio and Luciano Orquera are both from Córdoba as is Italian outside centre, Gonzalo Canale who will be partnered in the midfield by Gonzalo Garcia who is from Mendoza.  With the PladAR system now well in place and Argentina entering the Four Nations Rugby competition in 2012 it is not likely that Italy will continue to have so many players from Argentina in the future.

Mallet has opted for a squad of 16 forwards and 14 backs on his quest to lead Italy to the Quarter Finals for the first time in history. It will not be an easy task but is certainly a realistic goal and Italy know what heartbreak feels like after being eliminated after to Scotland in 2007, who failed to score a try. Mallet has been praised for changing Italy from a forward dominated side to one with more width and certainly more attacking flair. His triumph in Rome over France in the 2010 Six Nations will never be forgotten. He has, however, lost the services of his number one flyhalf, Craig Gower who has had to withdraw from New Zealand 2011 due to a knee injury. The responsibilities will fall on Argentine, Luciano Orquera with Riccardo Bocchino covering on the bench.

Italy will have matches vs Japan and Scotland in August in what is to be the teams final preparation. Italy is in Pool C competing against Australia, Ireland, Russia and the United States for a place in the final eight. The campaign commences on September 11 vs Australia in North Harbour and climaxes on October 02 vs Ireland in Dunedin. 

Italy Rugby World Cup Build-Up Schedule

August 13 Italy vs Japan, Cesena
August 20 Scotland vs Italy, Edinburgh

Rugby World Cup Matches


September 11 Italy vs Australia, North Harbour
September 20 Italy vs Russia, Nelson
September 27 Italy vs USA, Nelson
October 02 Italy vs Ireland, Dunedin


Italy squad for the Rugby World Cup

Forwards

Lorenzo Cittadini (Treviso)
Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing-Métro, France)
Salvatore Perugini (Aironi)
Leonardo Ghiraldini (Treviso)
Tommaso D’Apice (Roma)
Fabio Ongaro (Aironi)
Quintin Geldenhuys (Aironi)
Cornelius Van Zyl (Treviso)
Robert Julian Barbieri (Treviso)
Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Français, France)
Paul Derbyshire (Treviso)
Alessandro Zanni (Treviso)
Martín Castrogiovanni (Leicester, England)
Marco Bortolami (Aironi)
Carlo Antonio Del Fava (Aironi)
Sergio Parisse (Stade Français, France)

Backs

Pablo Canavosio (Aironi)
Fabio Semenzato (Treviso)
Riccardo Bocchino (Aironi)
Tommaso Benvenuti (Treviso)
Gonzalo Garcia (Treviso)
Luke McLean (Treviso)
Matteo Pratichetti (Aironi)
Giulio Toniolatti (Aironi)
Luciano Orquera (Aironi)
Edoardo Gori (Treviso)
Mirco Bergamasco (Racing-Métro, France)
Gonzalo Canale (Clermont, France)
Andrea Masi (Racing-Métro, France)
Alberto Sgarbi (Treviso)

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