Parisse and Castrogiovanni return for Azzurri

Italy coach Nick Mallett has named a 24-man squad for the first two games of the RBS 6 Nations.

Italy coach Nick Mallett has named a 24-man squad for the first two games of the RBS 6 Nations.

The Azzurri take on Ireland on February 5 at the Stadio Flaminio before facing England at Twickenham one week later.

Mallett is without experienced pair Mauro Bergamasco and Craig Gower, both sidelined for the tournament by injuries.

Inspirational captain Sergio Parisse returns to the squad having missed last year’s entire tournament following a knee ligament injury.

Leicester’s Martin Castrogiovanni is also in a squad that includes a total of 11 players from Treviso.

Italy squad: Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers), Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing Metro), Salvatore Perugini (Aironi), Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, Leonardo Ghiraldini (both Treviso), Fabio Ongaro (Aironi), Santiago Dellape (Racing Metro), Carlo Antonio Del Fava, Quintin Geldenhuys (both Aironi), Robert Barbieri, Paul Derbyshire (both Treviso), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais), Alessandro Zanni (Treviso), Pablo Canavosio (Aironi), Edoardo Gori, Kristopher Burton, Luke McLean (all Treviso), Luciano Orquera (Brive), Tommaso Benvenuti (Treviso), Mirco Bergamasco (Racing Metro), Gonzalo Canale (Clermont Auvergne), Gonzalo Garcia (Treviso), Andrea Masi (Racing Metro), Alberto Sgarbi (Treviso).

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