Zebre left Parma this morning heading to Ireland where the Italian franchise will face their second Irish journey of the season.
After two weekends off due to the November internationals that have seen Italy lose to New Zealand and beating South Africa last Saturday in Florence, the Guinness PRO12 returns.
Zebre are without 12 internationals capped by the Italian national team ahead of Saturday’s match against Tonga in Padua.
For this reason, the Parma based coaching staff have called six permit players who plays for clubs taking part in the main Italian league Excellence included in the 23: Including three starters Balocchi, Chiesa and Pettinelli.
Back in the squad for the match against Ulster are several player who recovered from their injuries since the last official game in Parma against Leinster ago.
There is a first seasonal selection for italian international Bellini who will start at the left wing along with full-back Berryman: the kiwi utility back gains his first 2016/17 cap after a long injury absence.
In the second row unit, Koegelenberg and Bernabò are available for selection after missing the last three games.
Centre Castello will lead the italian side for the first time in Belfast, while on the bench there are two uncapped players who could earn their Guinness Pro12 debut: hooker Luus – U20 Italian international at last World Rugby U20 World Cup- and flanker Licata, this season part of the main Italian Rugby Union U20 academy “Ivan Francescato” of Parma.
Here’s Zebre line-up for Friday, November 25 match at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast (Northern Ireland) for the 9th round of the Guinness PRO12 against Ulster. Kick off at 7.35 pm local time:
15 Dion Berryman
14 Simone Balocchi*
13 Matteo Pratichetti
12 Tommaso Castello (cap)
11 Mattia Bellini
10 Alberto Chiesa*
9 Guglielmo Palazzani
8 Derick Minnie
7 Johan Meyer
6 Giovanni Pettinelli*
5 Federico Ruzza*
4 Gideon Koegelenberg
3 Dario Chistolini
2 Carlo Festuccia
1 Bruno Postiglioni
16 Luhandre Luus*
17 Andrea De Marchi
18 Guillermo Roan
19 Valerio Bernabò
20 Giovanni Licata*
21 Carlo Engelbrecht
22 Maicol Azzolini*
23 Lloyd Greeff
Coach. Gianluca Guidi
Not available for selection due to injury: Kurt Baker, Serafin Bordoli, Gabriele Di Giulio*, Joshua Furno*, Andrea Lovotti*, Andrea Manici*, Jacopo Sarto, Kayle Van Zyl
Suspended: Oliviero Fabiani
Not available for selection due to international duties with Italy: George Biagi, Giulio Bisegni, Tommaso Boni*, Carlo Canna, Pietro Ceccarelli, Tommaso D’Apice*, Quintin Geldenhuys, Maxime Mbandà*, Edoardo Padovani*, Andries Van Schalkwyk, Giovanbattista Venditti* e Marcello Violi*
*Former member of the Italian Rugby Union academy “Ivan Francescato” of Tirrenia.
Referee: Craig Evans (Welsh Rugby Union)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Davies (Welsh Rugby Union) and Helen O’Reily (Irish Rugby Football Union)
TMO: Paul Adams (Welsh Rugby Union)
Live coverage in Italy on Eurosport 2 and on live streaming on www.eurosportplayer.it
Live text coverage of the game on www.pro12rugby.com and on Zebre Rugby twitter account with the official game hashtag #ULSvZEB