June International Tours

Italy hit by tour withdrawals



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Italy’s already treacherous tour to Australia and New Zealand has been hit by the withdrawals of experienced prop Martin Castrogiovanni, scrum-half Simon Picone and full-back Andrea Marcato.

Leicester Tiger Castrogiovanni and Marcato are injured while Picone misses out due to “personal reasons” according to the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) on Sunday.

The absences will hit a squad that is already without full-back Andrea Masi and hooker Carlo Festuccia as the Metro Racing pair are from the Abruzzo region that was badly hit by an earthquake in April and they have decided to stay with their families.

Worse still for English-born South African-raised coach Nick Mallett is that Castrogiovanni is a first choice prop while Picone would likely have started at number nine.

Marcato can play either full-back or fly-half and with Masi out would have started at number 15.

The trio have been replaced by Viadana prop Ignacio Rouyet, fly-half Kristopher Burton of Prato and the uncapped Parma scrum-half Tito Tebaldi.

The squad will meet in Rome on June 1 before leaving for Melbourne two days later.

They face the Wallabies on June 13 in Canberra and then again a week later at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne before heading to New Zealand to face the All Blacks on June 27 in Christchurch.

Having lost their last nine matches, including all five in this year’s Six Nations, Mallett knows that he is taking his team into the lion’s den.


Forwards (16):

Matias Aguero (Saracens/ENG), Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Francais/FRA), Marco Bortolami (Gloucester/ENG), Carlo Antonio Del Fava (Ulster/IRL), Simone Favaro (Rovigo), Quintin Geldenhuys (Viadana), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Calvisano), Jean-Francois Montauriol (Venise), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais/FRA – capt), Salvatore Perugini (Toulouse/FRA), Tommaso Reato (Rovigo), Ignacio Rouyet (Viadana), Franco Sbaraglini (Treviso), Josh Sole (Viadana), Fabio Staibano (Castres/FRA), Alessandro Zanni (Calvisano).

Backs (14):

Mirco Bergamasco (Stade Francais/FRA), Kristopher Burton (Prato), Gonzalo Canale (Clermont/FRA), Pablo Canavosio (Viadana), Gonzalo Garcia (Calvisano), Craig Gower (Bayonne/FRA), Luke McLean (Calvisano), Gilberto Pavan (Overmach Parma), Matteo Pratichetti (Calvisano), Roberto Quartaroli (Overmach Parma), Kaine Robertson (Viadana), Giulio Rubini (Overmach Parma), Tito Tebaldi (Overmach Parma), Giulio Toniolatti (Roma).


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