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Two ex-England age-grade stars named in Italy World Cup training squad

By PA
Paolo Odogwu playing for England U20s in 2016 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images)

Former England squad member Paolo Odogwu and Harlequins second-row forward Dino Lamb have been named in Italy’s World Cup training group.

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Odogwu, 26, who joined Stade Francais from Wasps last year, was capped by England at Under-18 and Under-20 level and included in Eddie Jones’ 2021 Six Nations squad.

But the Coventry-born wing, who is of Nigerian and Italian descent, never played for England at senior level and had expressed his desire to represent the Azzurri.

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The 25-year-old Lamb, who helped the England Under-20s reach the final of the 2017 U20 World Championships, also has Italian heritage and will join a 46-strong training squad in Trentino next month.

Italy head coach Kieran Crowley said: “We will have a very long and interesting period in Pergine Valsugana in preparation for one of the most important moments in the life of a sportsman – the World Cup.”

Forwards Epalahame Faiva, Filippo Alongi, Ivan Nemer, Matteo Nocera and Toa Halafihi, as well as wings Federico Mori and Montanna Ioane, feature after missing the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Championship.

Gloucester back-rower Jake Polledri, who played at the 2019 World Cup in Japan, misses out through injury.

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Italy open their World Cup campaign against Namibia in St Etienne on September 9 before playing pool matches against hosts France, New Zealand and Uruguay.

PROP
Filippo Alongi (Benetton Rugby, 1 Cap)
Paolo Buonfiglio (Zebre Parma, Esordiente)
Pietro Ceccarelli (Brive, 26 Caps)
Simone Ferrari (Benetton Rugby, 44 Caps)
Danilo Fischetti (London Irish, 30 Caps)
Ivan Nemer (Benetton Rugby, 11 Caps) – A Disposizione Dall’1 Luglio
Matteo Nocera (Zebre Parma, Esordiente)
Marco Riccioni (Saracens, 19 Caps)
Federico Zani (Benetton Rugby, 21 Caps)

HOOKER
Luca Bigi (Zebre Parma, 46 Caps)
Epalahame Faiva (Hurricanes, 5 Caps)
Gianmarco Lucchesi (Benetton Rugby, 17 Caps)
Marco Manfredi (Zebre Parma, 1 Cap)
Giacomo Nicotera (Benetton Rugby, 12 Caps)

SECOND ROW
Niccolò Cannone (Benetton Rugby, 30 Caps)
Edoardo Iachizzi (Vannes, 5 Caps)
Dino Lamb (Harlequins, Esordiente)
Federico Ruzza (Benetton Rugby, 41 Caps)
David Sisi (Zebre Parma, 27 Caps)
Andrea Zambonin (Zebre Parma, 2 Caps)

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BACK ROW
Lorenzo Cannone (Benetton Rugby, 8 Caps)
Riccardo Favretto (Benetton Rugby, 1 Cap)
Toa Halafihi (Benetton Rugby, 9 Caps)
Michele Lamaro (Benetton Rugby, 26 Caps) – Capitano
Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby, 46 Caps)
Giovanni Pettinelli (Benetton Rugby, 12 Caps)
Manuel Zuliani (Benetton Rugby, 10 Caps)

SCRUMHALF:
Alessandro Fusco (Zebre Parma, 13 Caps)
Alessandro Garbisi (Benetton Rugby, 4 Caps)
Martin Page-relo (Stade Toulousain, Esordiente)
Stephen Varney (Gloucester Rugby, 19 Caps)

FLYHALF:
Tommaso Allan (Harlequins, 71 Caps)
Giacomo Da Re (Benetton Rugby, 1 Cap)
Paolo Garbisi (Montpellier, 24 Caps)

CENTRES:
Juan Ignacio Brex (Benetton Rugby, 23 Caps)
Enrico Lucchin (Zebre Parma, 1 Cap)
Leonardo Marin (Benetton Rugby, 6 Caps)
Tommaso Menoncello (Benetton Rugby, 10 Caps)
Luca Morisi (London Irish, 44 Caps)

BACK THREE:
Pierre Bruno (Zebre Parma, 12 Caps)
Ange Capuozzo (Stade Toulousain, 10 Caps)
Simone Gesi (Zebre Parma, 1 Cap)
Montanna Ioane (Melbourne Rebels, 17 Caps)
Federico Mori (Bordeaux, 12 Caps)
Paolo Odogwu (Stade Francais, Esordiente)
Edoardo Padovani (Benetton Rugby, 44 Caps)

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Turlough 5 hours ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

“You want that – not hatred – but whatever it is that stirs it all up. It’s good.” Agree with this. If you can put a common motivating idea in all your players heads during a game it can produce a real Team perfromance. Erasmus is pretty expert at this. It is quite clear that the comments by Etzebeth, Allende and others were not coincidence and were actioned to create animoisty before the series in order to galvanise the South African mind set. While I understand it, I don’t like it. They result in unnessary vitriol between supporters and for what? I don’t think any of the SA players seriously believe any of these claims and with Ireland ignoring them Erasmus won’t get the escalation he seeks. The vitriol shown by some SA and indeed NZ supporters is extremely weird for NH supporters (OK, maybe England have felt it) but it just feels very odd over a sport. Ireland were more or less sh1t for the first 100 years of their rugby, they have improved significantly in the last 25 to be in a position around now (it may not last) to go into a match with the big guns with a real shot of winning. The reaction to this from some SH supporters has been bizarre with conspiracy theories of ‘Arrogance’ fueling abuse from supporters and even NZ players to Irish crowds during the world cup. I love International rugby and the comraderie between supporters. I genuinely dread and dislike the atmosphere around games with the southern giants. They take this very personally. NH teams: play them, try and beat them, enjoy the craic with their players and supporters and wish them well. SH teams wish them well and they call you arrogant in the press months later. Its just a matter of try and beat them and then good riddance til the next time.

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