Brunel unveils his hand

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 21:33

Italy coach Jacques Brunel on Friday included two new faces as he named a 30-man squad for upcoming international rugby tests against Tonga, New Zealand and Australia.

Treviso centre Tommaso Iannone has been called into the squad for the first time while his club teammate Francesco Minto returns after an aborted attempt at his debut.

Minto, a 25-year-old flank, had been part of Italy's squad for their tour of South America but was prevented from playing because of a muscle injury.

Brunel also recalled prop Andrea Lo Cicero, ending any notion the most capped Italy player (95 appearances) is ready to retire, as he has attempted to do several times in the past.

Brunel has also called up South Africa-born flyhalf Tobias Botes despite his underwhelming performances with the boot during Italy's last Six Nations campaign.

Italy will prepare for the tests with a training camp in Rome from October 21-24 before returning on 28-31 October.

The Azzurri face Tonga in Brescia on November 10, the world champion All Blacks at Rome's Olympic stadium a week later and the Wallabies in Florence on November 24.

Italy squad: Edoardo Gori, Kristopher Burton, Tommaso Benvenuti, Luke McLean, Luca Morisi, Alberto Sgarbi , Giovanbattista Venditti, Luciano Orquera, Mirco Bergamasco, Tobias Botes, Gonzalo Canale, Tommaso Iannone , Andrea Masi, Michele Rizzoo), Martin Castrogiovanni, Lorenzo Cittadini, Andrea Lo Cicero, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Joshua Furno, Roberto Barbieri, Francesco Minto, Quintin Geldenhuys, Simone Favaro, Alessandro Zanni, Alberto De Marchi , Davide Giazzon, Antonio Pavanello, Mauro Bergamasco, Sergio Parisse, Paul Derbyshire.