|Photo Belfast Telegraph|
Italian rugby headcoach Jacques Brunel has been deprived of his captain and vice captain for the June internationals. The Argentine born duo of Sergio Parisse and Martín Castogiovanni will not be involved in Italy's three match tour of Japan, Fiji and Samoa. With the Stade Français and Toulon players missing Brunel has opted to hand the captaincy to South African born second-rower Quintin Geldenhuys. Without Parisse and Castrogiovanni Brunel has still included three players from Argentina.
Brunel has opted not to take Parisse or Castrogiovanni to Asia and the South Pacific in a bid to have them rested in time for a final demanding season before Rugby World Cup 2015. Earlier this year both players passed the 100 cap mark and Italy will require plenty more caps from both players leading into a demanding campaign which sees Italy facing France, Canada, Ireland and Romania in Pool D.
Aside from Parisse and Castrogivanni the thirty man squad named by Brunel is otherwise strong, albeit not at full strength. Seven players are missing including Argentine born centre Gonzalo Canale. Also not touring are Simone Favaro, Edoardo Gori, Francesco Minto, Luca Morisi, Michele Rizzo and Alessandro Zanni.
The squad has three Argentine players and one Canadian. Zebre prop Matías Agüero is to be joined by clubmates Gonzalo Garcia and Luciano Orquera while Benetton Treviso's Toronto back-rower Robert Barbieri will also tour. Brunel has opted against selecting Argentine Alberto di Bernardo who debuted for Italy last June in South Africa.
Forwards (17): Matias Agüero (Zebre), Dario Chistolini (Zebre), Lorenzo Cittadini (London Wasps, England), Alberto De Marchi (Sale Sharks, England), Andrea De Marchi (Zebre), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Treviso), Davide Giazzon (Zebre), Andrea Manici (Zebre), George Fabio Biagi (Zebre), Marco Bortolami (Zebre), Marco Fuser (Treviso), Quintin Geldenhuys (Zebre), Robert Barbieri (Treviso), Mauro Bergamasco (Zebre), Paul Derbyshire (Treviso), Joshua Furno (Biarritz, France), Manoa Vosawai (Cardiff Blues, Wales)