Four new faces in Italy’s squad for Six Nations

Italy will have four new faces in their squad when they face Ireland in their RBS 6 Nations Championship opener in Rome next month.

Head coach Jacques Brunel has named his 30-man squad for this season’s Championship, which gets underway in Rome on February 7.

Wing Michele Visentin, centre Giulio Bisegni, utility back Simone Ragusi and scrum-half Marcello Violi have been selected, while players sidelined through injury include Gonzalo Canale and Alberto Sgarbi.

Wing Giovambattista Venditti and long-serving flanker Mauro Bergamasco, meanwhile, return after missing this season’s Autumn Tests, with number eight Sergio Parisse named as captain.

Meanwhile, uncapped Clermont Auvergne winger Noa Nakaitaci has been included by France coach Philippe Saint-Andre in a preliminary 31-man Six Nations squad.

Saint-Andre said: “He has become an undisputed first choice at (Clermont). He scores tries and makes differences. He has progressed enormously this season.”

Italy 30-man squad for this season’s RBS 6 Nations Championship:

BACKS: G Bisegni (Zebre), M Campagnaro (Treviso), A Masi (Wasps), L McLean (Sale Sharks), L Morisi (Treviso), S Ragusi (Treviso), L Sarto (Zebre), G Venditti (Zebre), M Visentin (Zebre), T Allan (Perpignan), K Haimona (Zebre), E Gori (Treviso), G Palazzani (Zebre), M Violi (Calvisano).

FORWARDS: M Aguero (Zebre), M Castrogiovanni (Toulon), D Chistolini (Zebre), A De Marchi (Sale Sharks), L Ghiraldini (Leicester), A Manici (Zebre), G Biagi (Zebre), M Bortolami (Zebre), J Furno (Newcastle), Q Geldenhuys (Zebre), R Barbieri (Leicester), M Bergamasco (Zebre), S Favaro (Treviso), F Minto (Treviso), S Parisse (Stade Francais, capt), A Zanni (Treviso).

France Six Nations training squad:

FORWARDS: U Atonio (La Rochelle), E Ben Arous (Racing Metro), N Mas (Montpellier), A Menini (Toulon), R Slimani (Stade Francais), G Guirado (Toulon), B Kayser (Clermont Auvergne), A Flanquart (Stade Francais), Y Maestri (Toulouse), P Pape (Stade Francais), R Taofifenua (Toulon), D Chouly (Clermont Auvergne), T Dusautoir (Toulouse), B Le Roux (Racing Metro), Y Nyanga (Toulouse), C Ollivon (Bayonne), L Picamoles (Toulouse).

BACKS: R Kockott (Castres), S Tillous-Borde (Toulon), C Lopez (Clermont Auvergne), R Tales (Castres), M Bastareaud (Toulon), A Dumoulin (Racing Metro), W Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), R Lamerat (Castres), S Guitoune (Bordeaux), Y Huget (Toulouse), NNakaitaci (Clermont Auvergne), T Thomas (Racing Metro), B Dulin (Racing Metro), S Spedding (Bayonne).


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