Jan 12 (Reuters) - Italy coach Conor O‘Shea kept most of his November internationals squad intact when he named his 32 men for the Six Nations on Thursday.
Two more Zebre Rugby players will join the squad, tighthead prop Dario Chistolini, who replaced Benetton Treviso’s Simone Ferrari, sidelined with an injury, as well as uncapped second row Federico Ruzza.
“The group that we’ve seen in November has worked very well. For us it is important to give continuity to our work and increase the experience of the squad,” the Irish coach said on the Italian rugby federation website (www.federugby.it).
“I‘m looking forward to getting back to working with the guys and I expect a squad that will work hard to play every match until the last minute.”
It will be the 13th Six Nations for Argentina-born flanker Sergio Parisse, Italy’s most capped player with 121 appearances.
Italy great Martin Castrogiovanni will not be joining the squad as he announced in December that he would retire from the national team.
Forwards: Pietro Ceccarelli (Zebre Rugby), Dario Chistolini (Zebre Rugby), Lorenzo Cittadini (Aviron Bayonnais/FRA), Andrea Lovotti (Zebre Rugby), Sami Panico (Patarò Calvisano), Tommaso D‘Apice (Zebre Rugby), Ornel Gega (Benetton Treviso), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Stade Toulousain/FRA), George Fabio Biagi (Zebre Rugby), Joshua FURNO (Zebre Rugby), Marco FUSER (Benetton Treviso), Federico Ruzza (Zebre Rugby), Andries Van Schalkwyk (Zebre Rugby), Marco Barbini (Benetton Treviso), Simone Favaro (Glasgow Warriors), Maxime Mata Mbanda (Zebre Rugby), Francesco Minto (Benetton Treviso), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais/FRA), Abraham Jurgens Steyn (Benetton Treviso).
Backs: Giorgio Bronzini (Benetton Treviso), Edoardo Gori (Benetton Treviso), Marcello Violi (Zebre Rugby), Tommaso Allan (Benetton Treviso), Carlo Canna (Zebre Rugby), Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton Treviso), Tommaso Boni (Zebre Rugby), Michele Campagnaro (Exeter Chiefs), Luke McLean (Benetton Treviso, 84 caps), Giulio Bisegni (Zebre Rugby), Angelo Esposito (Benetton Treviso), Giovambattista Venditti (Zebre Rugby), Edoardo Padovani (Zebre Rugby). (Editing by Mark Heinrich)