Italy is going to send a slightly less experienced lineup on their summer tour of the USA, Argentina, and Canada.
Italy coach Jacques Brunel on Monday named seven new caps in his squad of in a 30-strong squad for a summer tour that comprises Test matches against Argentina, Canada and the United States.
Brunel originally named No. 8 Sergio Parisse, a teammate of USA’s Scott LaValla at Stade Francais, as captain, but Parisse has had to pull out due to a groin injury.
The seven uncapped players are props Alberto De Marchi and Lorenzo Romano, hooker Davide Giazzon, lock Marco Fuser, flanker Francesco Minto and threequarters Alberto Benettin and Andrea Pratcihetti.
Along with Parisse, five Rugby World Cup veterans were not picked: Lorenzo Cittadini (Prop- Treviso), Totò Perugini (Prop - Aironi), Quintin Geldenhuys (Lock -Aironi), Cornelius Van Zyl (Lock - Treviso), and Fabio Semenzato (SH - Treviso). All but Cittadini played against the USA in the World Cup.
Injury or club commitments have held back some others.
Brunel could not risk picking a completely untested group, however, and will bring in Leciester prop Martin Castrogiovanni, No. 8 Alessandro Zanni, former captain Marco Bortolami, and Canadian- born flanker Robert Barbieri despite earlier predictions he would rest them.
Italy has also brought back Mauro Bergamasco, fly half Riccardo Bocchino, and scrumhalf Tito Tebaldi. Tebaldi has been out of the side for over a year, and all three veterans have something to prove.
Italy faced Argentina in San Juan on June 9, Canada in Toronto on June 15, and the United States in Houston on June 23.
Italy played the USA last September 27 at the Rugby World Cup, winning 27-10 in Nelson, NZ. (See video highlights here).
Go here for info on tickets to the June 23 match.
Italy Touring Squad for North and South America
Forwards (17): Michele Rizzo (Treviso), Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester/ENG), Tommaso D'Apice (Aironi), Marco Bortolami (Aironi), Joshua Furno (Aironi), Roberto Barbieri (Treviso), Francesco Minto (Treviso), Simone Favaro (Aironi), Alessandro Zanni (Treviso), Alberto De Marchi (Aironi), Lorenzo Romano (Aironi), Carlo Festuccia (Parma Crociati), Davide Giazzon (Rovigo), Marco Fuser (Mogliano), Antonio Pavanello (Treviso), Mauro Bergamasco (Aironi)
Backs (13): Tito Tebaldi (Aironi), Edoardo Gori (Treviso), Kristopher Burton (Treviso), Riccardo Bocchino (Prato), Alberto Benettin (Aironi), Tommaso Benvenuti (Treviso), Luke McLean (Treviso), Luca Morisi (Parma Crociati), Andrea Pratichetti (Treviso), Roberto Quartaroli (Aironi), Alberto Sgarbi (Treviso), Giulio Toniolatti (Aironi), Giovanbattista Venditti (Aironi)