Venerdì, 21 Settembre 2018

Rugby: Italy boss looks to stun France again in 6N opener


Rome, January 10 - Italy notched their first Six
Nations victory over France the last time Les Bleus visited Rome
and Azzurri coach Jacques Brunel is optimistic his men can
repeat the feat in their opening game of the 2013 tournament
next month.
"We hope to do the same thing as two years ago, we hope to
start with the same result," Brunel told a news conference on
Thursday referring to the historic 22-21 win Italy achieved
under his predecessor Nick Mallet in 2011.
Confidence is high in the Azzurri camp after a positive
November test series.
They secured a 28-23 win over Tonga, caused the All Blacks
lots of problems for three-quarters of a 42-10 defeat in Rome -
a scoreline that flattered the world champions - and gave
Australia a huge scare before going down 22-19 in Florence.
"Our ambition is to stay at the same level of play shown in
the November tests.
"I think we're on the right road. The team have gained
confidence and we can still improve because we still haven't
played a complete match, we haven't yet maintained the same
level of play throughout a match".
Brunel was speaking after naming his preliminary squad for
the Six Nations of 30 men, 27 of whom took part in the autumn
Treviso flanker Paul Derbyshire, who has not yet been used
since Brunel took over after the 2011 World Cup, is back in the
squad after a series of injuries.
Zebre centre Gonzalo Canale returns after a long absence,
along with his teammate in the franchise run by the Italian
Rugby Federation (FIR), in-form fullback Paolo Buso, who won his
only previous cap five years ago.
The most high-profile absentees are brothers Mauro and
Mirco Bergamasco.
Winger Mirco looks set to miss the Six Nations with a knee
Flanker Mauro is fit and therefore looks to have been
Italy start their campaign against 2011 World Cup finalists
France at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on February 3 before visiting
Scotland, the side they regularly battle against to avoid coming
last, the week after.
They take on Wales at home on February 23, face England at
Twickenham on March 10 and finish their campaign back in Rome on
March 16 against Ireland.
Italy squad.
Props: Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers, 91 caps),
Lorenzo Cittadini (Benetton Treviso, 16 caps), Alberto De Marchi
(Benetton Treviso, 4 caps), Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing-Metro
Paris, 98 caps), Michele Rizzo (Benetton Treviso, 5 caps).
Hookers: Leonardo Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso, 48 caps),
Davide Giazzon (Zebre Rugby, 5 caps).
Locks: Joshua Furno (Narbonne, 6 caps), Quintin Geldenhuys
(Zebre Rugby, 33 caps), Francesco Minto (Benetton Treviso, 2
caps), Antonio Pavanello (Benetton Treviso, 13 caps).
Loose forwards: Robert Barbieri (Benetton Treviso, 27
caps), Paul Edward Derbyshire (Benetton Treviso, 16 caps),
Simone Favaro (Benetton Treviso, 16 caps), Sergio Parisse (Stade
Francais, 91 caps, captain), Ratu Manoa Seru Vosawai (Benetton
Treviso, 10 caps), Alessandro Zanni (Benetton Treviso, 69 caps).
Scrumhalves: Tobias Botes (Benetton Treviso, 8 Caps),
Edoardo Gori (Benetton Treviso, 19 caps).
Flayhalves: Kristopher Burton (Benetton Treviso, 18 caps),
Luciano Orquera (Zebre Rugby, 29 caps).
Centres/wings/fullbacks: Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton
Treviso, 23 Caps), Paolo Buso (Zebre Rugby, 1 cap), Gonzalo
Canale (La Rochelle, 77 caps), Gonzalo Garcia (Zebre Rugby, 25
caps), Tommaso Iannone (Benetton Treviso, 1 Cap), Andrea Masi
(London Wasps, 72 caps), Luke Mclean (Benetton Treviso, 41
caps), Alberto Sgarbi (Benetton Treviso, 23 caps),
Giovanbattista Venditti (Zebre Rugby, 9 caps).

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