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Aironi and Treviso players dominate Italy squad

Guinness PRO12 Editor

16 Jan 2012

Jacques Brunel has unveiled his first squad as Italy boss for the 2012 RBS 6 Nations Championship with Treviso and Aironi dominating the make-up of the 30-man group.


In a stark contrast to previous years, Brunel has been able to call on domestic-based players for the most part with only four players – props Martin Castrogiovanni and Andrea Lo Cicero, centre Gonzalo Canale and talismanic No.8 Sergio Parisse – based overseas.

Brunel, previously in charge of French side Perpignan, will cut six players ahead of their opening clash against France, who the Azzurri shocked last year in Rome.

There are four new faces in all with Aironi pair Alberto de Marchi, who was part of the World Cup training group, and Giovanbattista Venditti included alongside centre Luca Morisi from Crociati and 18-year-old winger Angelo Esposito, who would become the youngest player to represent the Azzurri should he make his bow.

In a reflection of the growing strength of the RaboDirect PRO12, 24 players come from either Aironi or Treviso. 

Italy squad:

Tommaso D'Apice (Aironi), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Treviso), Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers), Lorenzo Cittadini (Treviso), Alberto de Marchi (Aironi), Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing Metro), Marco Bortolami (Aironi), Quintin Geldenhuys (Aironi), Antonion Pavanello (Treviso), Cornelius van Zyl (Treviso), Robert Barbieri (Treviso), Mauro Bergamasco (Aironi), Paul Derbyshire (Treviso), Simone Favaro (Aironi), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais), Alessandro Zanni (Treviso)

Edoardo Gori (Treviso), Fabio Semenzato (Treviso), Kristopher Burton (Treviso), Luciano Orquera (Aironi), Tommaso Benvenuti (Treviso), Gonzalo Canale (Clermont Auvergne), Luca Morisi (Parma Crociati), Alberto Sgarbi (Treviso), Angelo Esposito (Ruggers Tarvisium/Accademia FIR), Roberto Quartaroli (Aironi), Giulio Toniolatti (Aironi), Giovanbattista Venditti (Aironi), Andrea Masi (Aironi), Luke McLean (Treviso)