ROME (AFP) –
Italy coach Jacques Brunel on Monday named seven new caps in a 30-strong squad for a summer tour that comprises Test matches against Argentina, Canada and the United States.
However, Brunel suffered a blow later on Monday when after naming outstanding No 8 Sergio Parisse as captain he learnt that the Stade Francais star had pulled out because of a right thigh injury he suffered in his club’s final match of the season.
Brunel, whose first Six Nations campaign saw him avoid the wooden spoon with a defeat of Scotland, introduced five new faces in the scrum.
Aironi props Alberto De Marchi and Lorenzo Romano, Treviso back row forward Francisco Minto, Rovigo hooker Davide Giazzon and Mogliano lock Marco Fuser all made the squad.
And Brunel also called up two new centres, Treviso’s Andrea Pratichetti, who was in the Six Nations squad but never took to the field, and Aironi’s Alberto Benettin.
Italy’s first match is their hardest of the tour against Argentina in San Juan on June 9, Canada in Toronto on June 15, and the United States in Houston on June 23.
Forwards (17): Michele Rizzo (Treviso), Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester/ENG), Tommaso D’Apice (Aironi), Marco Bortolami (Aironi), Joshua Furno (Aironi), Roberto Barbieri (Treviso), Francesco Minto (Treviso), Simone Favaro (Aironi), Alessandro Zanni (Treviso), Alberto De Marchi (Aironi), Lorenzo Romano (Aironi), Carlo Festuccia (Parma Crociati), Davide Giazzon (Rovigo), Marco Fuser (Mogliano), Antonio Pavanello (Treviso), Mauro Bergamasco (Aironi)
Backs (13): Tito Tebaldi (Aironi), Edoardo Gori (Treviso), Kristopher Burton (Treviso), Riccardo Bocchino (Prato), Alberto Benettin (Aironi), Tommaso Benvenuti (Treviso), Luke McLean (Treviso), Luca Morisi (Parma Crociati), Andrea Pratichetti (Treviso), Roberto Quartaroli (Aironi), Alberto Sgarbi (Treviso), Giulio Toniolatti (Aironi), Giovanbattista Venditti (Aironi)