Thursday, January 30, 2014

Parisse and Castrogiovanni to start for Italy v Wales

Photo The Times: 
Jacques Brunel has named his team to face Wales in a first round Six Nations match at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. The team will be led again by the Argentine born Sergio Parisse who will earn his 102 test cap as will Martín Castrogiovanni. The Argentine born pair are two of onlt three players not playing their rugby in Italy who will start against the current European champions.

Joining the South American born duo as the other starting player based abroad is 20 year old former under 20 Scottish fly half Tommaso Allan. The rookie made his debut in November and aside from goalkicking concers impressed in the 10 shirt. He looked to be the most talented pivot to represent Italy in quite some time. His inclusion will not please Scottish supporters due to Scotland having fielded him at junior level only to lose him at test level. 

Indeed with Scotland not being able to cap Steven Shingler who had previously played at junior level for Wales the rulings are nothing short of extremely controversial. The Welsh Rugby Union defended its right to have Shingler for life due to Wales not having an A team. As such the Welsh A team was deemed to be the Junior side. 

With Scotland not having had a reliable fly half at Rugby World Cups since Gregor Townsend in 1999 Scotland has long been unable to perform to the same standards of the 1990s.  Losing Allan to Italy could therefore be viewed in the future as a loss of significant proportions.  Allan, though, is a legitimate Italian player as he was born in Vicenza. 

He has been selected as the starting fly half ahead of Argentine Luciano Orquera who impressed in the win against France last year. In search of a consistent player and one to take Italy into the World Cup Brunel has utilized a number of fly halves since he replaced Nick Mallett. Kris Burton, Orquera and a second Argentine fly half, Alberto di Bernardo, have all been tried. Allan though has a reputation exceeding all of them. Aged just 20 he has a tough assignement ahead of him in Cardiff.

15 Luke McLean (Treviso)
14 Angelo Esposito (Treviso)
13 Michele Campagnaro (Treviso)
12 Alberto Sgarbi (Treviso)
11 Leonardo Sarto (Zebre)
10 Tommaso Allan (Perpignan, France)
9 Edoardo Gori (Treviso)
8 Sergio Parisse (Stade Français, France)
7 Mauro Bergamasco (Zebre)
6 Alessandro Zanni (Treviso)
5 Marco Bortolami (Zebre)
4 Quintin Geldenhuys (Zebre)
3 Martín Castrogiovanni (Toulon, France)
2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (Treviso)
1 Michele Rizzo (Treviso)

16 Davide Giazzon (Zebre)
17 Alberto De Marchi (Treviso)
18 Lorenzo Cittadini (Treviso)
19 Josh Furno (Biarritz, France)
20 Francesco Minto (Treviso)
21 Tobias Botes (Treviso)
22 Luciano Orquera (Zebre)
23 Tommaso Iannone

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