Rugby

Italy coach O'Shea goes for continuity at 6N

2017-01-12 18:16
Conor O'Shea (Getty Images)

Milan - Italy coach Conor O'Shea on Thursday named a 32-man squad for a pre-Six Nations training camp to be held over four days in Rome later this month.

The former Harlequins coach will lead Italy into the Six Nations for the first time and will do so with a degree of confidence after a historic first win over South Africa.

O'Shea has kept faith with the squad that helped stun a battered Boks 20-18 in Rome in November, adding only two players.

Zebre prop Dario Chistolini replaces the injured Simone Ferrari while Federico Ruzza could be in line for his debut in the second row at the Six Nations, which start next month.

"The squad did very well in November and it's important for us to have some continuity and to give them as much experience as possible," said O'Shea.

"We expect it to be a difficult tournament, as the Six Nations always is, but I can't wait to get back to working with the lads.

"I'm expecting them to turn up motivated and ready to play every game until the 80th minute."

The Italy squad will meet from January 22 to 25 then reassemble four days later ahead of the start of this year's tournament.

Italy host Wales on February 5, Ireland a week later, then travel to England, before returning to Rome to host France. The Azzurri's final fixture is a potential wooden spoon match-up with Scotland at Murrayfield on March 18.

Italy squad

Backs: Edoardo Padovani (Zebre), Giulio Bisegni (Zebre), Angelo Esposito (Treviso), Giovanbattista Venditti (Zebre), Tommaso Benvenuti (Treviso), Tommaso Boni (Zebre), Michele Campagnaro (Exeter Chiefs/ENG), Luke McLean (Treviso), Tommaso Allan (Treviso), Carlo Canna (Zebre), Giorgio Bronzini (Treviso), Edoardo Gori (Treviso), Marcello Violi (Zebre)

Forwards: Pietro Ceccarelli (Zebre), Dario Chistolini (Zebre), Lorenzo Cittadini (Aviron Bayonnais/FRA), Andrea Lovotti (Zebre), Sami Panico (Calvisano), Tommaso D'Apice (Zebre), Ornel Gega (Treviso), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Stade Toulousain/FRA), George Fabio Biagi (Zebre), Joshua Furno (Zebre), Marco Fuser (Treviso), Federico Ruzza (Zebre), Andries Van Schalkwyk (Zebre), Marco Barbini (Treviso), Simone Favaro (Glasgow Warriors/SCO), Maxime Mata Mbanda (Zebre), Francesco Minto (Treviso), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais/FRA), Abraham Jurgens Steyn (Treviso)

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