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

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.


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.

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This list of 33 athletes who will meet Sunday in Rome:

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) *

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)


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)

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

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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Jon 2 hours ago
British & Irish Lions free agent open to Super Rugby switch

There are a couple of teams who could use a stop gap experienced head. Blues - I’m not sure the Blues have signed a replacement for Caleb Tangitau (if he hasn’t been let go to make room for Barrett) yet, or whether Reiko is going on sabbatical and/or will remain in the squad. With exciting young French player Xavi Taele looking destined for higher honors in black, talented breakthrough rookie Cory Evan’s, and a couple of utilities, in AJ Lam and Bryce Heem(even Clarke?), all trying to learn the midfield trade, Williams could be a great aid. The Blues signed key English center Joe Marchant before he was raised to that level, and were possibly in the hunt to bring back the dependable Tele’a from the Highlanders. Possible the main squeeze which would put to bed any signing here would be the battle at 10 with Beauden’s return, and the forcing of Plummer back into the midfield. Hurricanes - Jordie Barrett is off to Leinster for a sabbatical next year but the more likely signing would be Billy’s brother back in the team. The Hurricanes are light on the outside with the loss of Salesi Rayasi to the Top 14 and if no quality is found to back up Kini Naholo, the midfield of Sullivan or Proctors could find themselves on the wing and space for a leader to show the Hurricanes three All Black midfield hopefuls (Higgins, Proctor, Umaga-Jensen) how its done. Highlanders - Rotation is high as usual at the Highlanders and versatility remains a strength with a lot of the squad. With compatriot Rhys Patchell signing a move to the JRLO, the passing of outside back Connor Garden-Bachop, and confirmed departure of Argentine wing Martin Bogado, the versatility of many of the young backups in the squad could see a veteran 12 like Williams being a strong partner for the robust Tele’a. With hope that the other Umaga-Jensen brother can force him out of the starting lineup, and shifting the sides general Sam Gilbert back into 10, the off-contract midfielder might seen as the perfect option for a squad still looking to fill one back spot.

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