Mallett names squad to face Ireland

Italy head coach Nick Mallett has named his 24-man squad ahead of the RBS 6 Nations opener against Ireland at Croke Park on Saturday.

Italy head coach Nick Mallett has named his 24-man squad ahead of the RBS 6 Nations opener against Ireland at Croke Park on Saturday.

Bayonne fly-half Craig Gower has been included in the squad but is doubtful for this weekend’s match as he is struggling with a knock to his left knee.

That means uncapped Rovigo stand-off Riccardo Bocchino could make his Azzurri debut in Dublin.

Antonio Pavanello, Simone Favaro, Manoa Vosawai, Andrea Marcato, Matteo Pratichetti and Michele Sepe have joined Italy’s A team for Sunday’s match against England Saxons in Treviso.

SQUAD:

Forwards: M Aguero (Saracens), Ma Bergamasco (Stade Francais), M Bortolami (Gloucester), M Castrogiovanni (Leicester), C Antonio Del Fava (Viadana), L Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso), L Cittadini (Treviso), Q Geldenhuys (Viadana), S Perugini (Bayonne), J Sole (Viadana), A Zanni (Benetton Treviso), F Ongaro (Saracens).

Backs: R Bocchino (Rovigo), Mi Bergamasco (Stade Francais), G Canale (Clermont), A Masi (Racing Metro Paris), L McLean (Benetton Treviso), G Garcia (Treviso), C Gower (Bayonne), K Robertson (Viadana), A Sgarbi (Treviso), T Tebaldi (Gran Parma), S Picone (Treviso), P Derbyshire (Petrarca Padova).

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