Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Italy Select Three from the Americas to face France

Martín Castrogiovanni
The debut of Jacques Brunel and Italian international coach features a number of changes to Nick Mallet´s side which failed to deliver at Rugby World Cup 2011. With an eye on the future while being careful to not overlook the present, Brunel has has selected a team that should, in theory, be attacking. Aironi winger Giovanbattista Venditti will debut on the right wing with the impressive Tommaso Benvenuti of Benetton Treviso moving to outside centre. Argentine born centre, Gonzalo Canale had been thought of as Italy´s new inside centre but Brunel has named the Clermont player on the bench, instead opting for Alberto Sgarbi to start at 12. This marks a change from the World Cup and from Italy´s selections in general as the Argentine pair of Gonzalo Garcia and Gonzalo Canale had been the 12-13 combination.

Following the withrdrawl of Argentina´s Luciano Orquera, Kristopher Burton will start at flyhalf and will form a 9-10 combination with Edoardo Gori rather than Fabio Semenzato who joins Canale on the bench. With Andrea Masi beinkg retained at fullback, Luke McLean has been selected to play on the left wing in place of the injured Mirco Bergamasco. Mirco´s older brother and long time serving backrower, Mauro Bergamasco has not made the team at all. In his place will be Canada´s Robert Barbieri who will form a backrow trio with Alessandro Zanni and Argentine born Sergio Parrise. The Stade Français 8 retains the captaincy. Argentina´s Martín Castrogiovanni retains his placed at tighthead prop and will form a strong frontrow with Leonardo Ghiraldini and Andrea Lo Cicero.

The side continues to have a flavour of the Americas with three of the 22 being from Argentina and one from Canada.

15 Andrea Masi
14 Giovanbattista Venditti
13 Tommaso Benvenuti
12 Alberto Sgarbi
11 Luke McLean
10 Kristopher Burton
9 Edoardo Gori
8 Sergio Parisse (Captain)
7 Robert Barbieri
6 Alessandro Zanni
5 Quintin Geldenhuys
4 Cornelius van Zyl
3 Martín Castrogiovanni
2 Leonardo Ghiraldini
1 Andrea Lo Cicero

Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Lorenzo Cittadini, 18 Marco Bortolami, 19 Simone Favaro, 20 Fabio Semenzato, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Gonzalo Canale



  1. stupid article: Parisse is son of Italian parents, as Castrogiovanni, Canale, Barbieri. Oquera and Garçia are half-Italian and they played for Italy coz they were shit for Pumas standards

    1. None play for where they were born. As this site is a campiagn for Argentina to host Rugby World Cup and it to also be the first time for the Americas it is a highly relevent subject.