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Italy call up ex-England U20 captain to squad for Ireland test

By Online Editors
Italy head coach Conor O'Shea. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Italy head coach Conor O’Shea has announced his 33-man squad to prepare for their Guinness Six Nations match with Ireland.

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The squad will gather in Rome on Sunday 17th until Monday 25th February 25 at the Olympic Training Center “Giulio Onesti”, in preparation for the game against defending champions Ireland.

Zebre centre Julius Bisegni, who featured in November, returns to the squad after a calf injury. Benetton scurm half who was injured in the lead-up to the Scotland game returns. Also vying for the number nine shirt is the experienced Edoardo Gori, William Palazzani, along with the uncapped Gloucester scrum half Callum Braley.

24-year-old Braley is rated as the Gallagher Premiership’s 19th best scrum half in the RugbyPass Index, with an overall RPI of 63, but with figures of 82 for Territorial Kick Metres and 83 for Pass Complete.

Braley represented England at Under 20 level and captained the side during two victorious World Rugby U20 Championships.

He qualifies to play for Italy through his grandfather.

Continue reading below…
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This list of 33 athletes who will meet Sunday in Rome:

Props:
Simone FERRARI (Benetton Rugby, 19caps)
Andrea Lovotti (ZEBRE Club, 31caps) *
Titian EASTER (Benetton Rugby, 15caps)
Nicola QUAGLIO (Benetton Rugby, 9 caps) *
Cherif TRAORE ‘(Benetton Rugby, 7 caps) *

Hookers:
Luca BIGI (Benetton Rugby, 17 caps)
Leonardo GHIRALDINI (Stade Toulousian, 101 caps)

Second Row:
Dean BUDD (Benetton Rugby, 18 caps)
Federico RUZZA (Benetton Rugby, 9 caps) *
David SISI (ZEBRE Club, 2 ch)
Alessandro ZANNI (Benetton Rugby, 109 caps)

Back Row:
Marco BARBINI (Benetton Rugby, 3 caps)
Maxime Mbanda ‘(ZEBRE Club, 15 caps) *
Sebastian NEGRI (Benetton Rugby, 14 caps)
Sergio PARISSE (Stade Francais, 136 caps) – Captain
Abraham Jurgens Steyn (Benetton Rugby, 27 caps)
Jimmy TUIVAITI (ZEBRE Club, 2 caps)

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Scrum Half:
Callum BRALEY (Gloucester Rugby, newcomer) – invited
Edoardo Gori (Benetton Rugby, 69 caps) *
William PALAZZANI (ZEBRE Club, 30 caps)
Tito TEBALDI (Benetton Rugby, 29 caps)

Flyhalf:
Thomas ALLAN (Benetton Rugby, 45 caps)
Charles REED (ZEBRE Club, 32 caps)
Ian MCKINLEY (Benetton Rugby, 6 caps)

Centre:
Michele CAMPAGNARO (Wasps, 40 caps) *
Thomas CASTLE (ZEBRE Club, 16 caps)
Luca MORISI (Benetton Rugby, 22 caps) *
Marco Zanon (Benetton Rugby, rookie) *

Back Three:
Giulio BISEGNI (ZEBRE Club, 11 caps)
Angelo ESPOSITO (Benetton Rugby, 17 caps)
Jayden HAYWARD (Benetton Rugby, 14 caps)
Edoardo Padovani (ZEBRE Club, 17 caps) *
Luca SPERANDIO (Benetton Rugby, 5 caps) *

*He is/was a member of the National Academy “Ivan Francescato”

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M
Morne 31 minutes ago
Thanks but no thanks, the All Blacks do not need to copy the Boks

Some further observations: Most Rugby lovers I know agree that the AB’s have been the gold standard for as long as anyone can remember - very few people disagree. The odd time that any other team has some sort of ascendency - there are always those (albeit the minority) NZ supporters that need to remind us of the AB’s glorious gold standard that anyone winning them is only down to a mixture of pure luck or some or other sinister reason or bias from match officials (or indeed the Universe). For reasons mentioned above, any other team with some ascendency over the AB’s (even if it is the 1st time in 100 years) may not receive a pat on the back and a well-done - as they only did so out of pure luck. In my opinion, if the Boks were in the same realm as the AB’s SF opponents - they would have been smashed also - whether with 14 or 13 or 12 players. But remember they were just “lucky”. As a Bok supporter, I will say this team has done our proud - despite losing some games along the way. Like the AB’s, the games the boks lose are 9/10 times one score games - this is a long way from hidings like 57 - 0…And in that we must be proud. Most of these type of articles - especially those focusing on the RWC final rather conveniently leave out any mention of Pieter Steph du Toit, or even Eben Etzebeth who won all their collusions all day long. So to those very very few bad loser AB supporters out there (definitely the minority) - I’ll say what you want to hear - the AB’s are without any doubt the best Rugby brand ever. They have consistently achieved what all other teams can only dream of. And no doubt they will scale those heights again. Now what about allowing others the odd ray of sunlight that comes our way?

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