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Italy team tries to rebuild after World Cup flop

World Cup flops Italy have brought in 18 new faces as part of a 38-man training squad expected to be trimmed by coach Jacques Brunel ahead of next year's Six Nations.

Italy team tries to rebuild after World Cup flop
Italy have brought in 18 new faces as part of a 38-man training squad expected to be trimmed by coach Jacques Brunel ahead of next year's Six Nations. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

Italy did not exceed expectations at this autumn's World Cup as they failed to qualify for the quarter-finals after a third-place finish in Group D.

Having finished fifth in this year's Six Nations with only one win to their name, against Scotland, the Azzurri have launched their bid to rebuild ahead of the 2019 World Cup in Japan with 18 potential debutants, 14 of whom have never been called up to the squad before.

While most selected players ply their trade at Italy's two Celtic League teams – Treviso and Zebre – seven of the squad play in the Italian national league, the Eccellenza, according to a statement by the Italian rugby federation (FIR) on Monday.

Italy veteran Mauro Bergamasco, who became only the second player to compete in five World Cups, urged FIR bosses last month to begin planning for Japan 2019 now.

“They have to plan, that is crucial,” Bergamasco said prior to waving goodbye to professional rugby.

“We need to plan and organize a strategy for the next four years and reach the World Cup in the best condition possible.”

Italy's squad will convene in Treviso on November 23rd, albeit without the players contracted to non-Italian clubs, including captain and Stade Francais hooker Sergio Parisse.

Italy training camp squad (*marks squad debutant):

Forwards (20)

Valerio Bernabo, George Biagi, Dean Budd (*), Pietro Ceccarelli (*), Dario Chistolini, Tommaso D'Apice, Alberto De Marchi, Simone Ferrari (*), Marco Fuser, Ornell Gega (*), Quintin Geldenhuys, Marco Lazzaroni (*), Andrea Lovotti (*), Andrea Manici, Maxime Mbanda (*), Francesco Minto, Abraham Steyn (*), Andries Van Schalkwyk (*), Alessandro Zanni, Matteo Zanusso (*)

Backs (18)

Mattia Bellini (*), Giulio Bisegni, Tommaso Boni (*), Andrea Buondonno (*), Carlo Canna, Tommaso Castello (*), Gonzalo Garcia, Edoardo Gori, Luke McLean, Andrea Menniti-Ippolito (*), David Odiete (*), Edoardo Padovani (*), Guglielmo Palazzani, Andrea Pratichetti, Leonardo Sarto, Marco Susio (*), Marcello Violi, Michele Visentin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palazzani, Andrea Pratichetti, Leonardo Sarto, Marco Susio (*), Marcello
Violi, Michele Visentin

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RUGBY

Italy’s rugby team don rainbow laces for Welsh legend

Italy's rugby team will wear rainbow laces during Saturday's game against New Zealand in support of former Wales captain Gareth Thomas.

Italy's rugby team don rainbow laces for Welsh legend
England's flanker Chris Robshaw wears rainbow laces at Saturday's game with Samoa. Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP
Ahead of their meet in Rome, the Italian rugby federation tweeted that the move was “a gesture of solidarity” with the player. 
 
 
 
Wales, who face Fiji, and France, who play South Africa, have already said their players will be wearing rainbow laces during their games on Saturday. 
   
England, who play Australia, said they may not be able to join the effort because the rainbow laces do not fit into their boots.
 
Former Wales captain Thomas, 44, who came out as gay in 2009, posted a video on Twitter on November 18 saying he had been a victim of a hate crime in Cardiff “for my sexuality”.
   
Police dealt with a 16-year-old boy using restorative justice following a request by Thomas, who wanted to send a “positive message”.