Azzurri name five rookies

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 15:45
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SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Italy coach Conor O'Shea on Wednesday named five uncapped players in a 31-man squad for the November Tests.

The Azzurri face Fiji, Argentina and South Africa later this month.

Fullback Matteo Minozzi, Irish-born flyhalf Ian McKinley, New Zealand-born centre Jayden Hayward and back row forwards Renato Giammarioli and Giovanni Licata are the new faces in the squad as O'Shea continues to blood new players.

The mean age of the squad is just 26 with an average of just 17 caps.

Only three players - captain Sergio Parisse, hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini and scrum-half Edoardo Gori - have won more than 50 caps.

"I'm convinced we're on the right path. We need to stay focused on our own performances," said Irishman O'Shea.

"I don't want the lads to think of the result but that they concentrate on their performance."

Italy host Fiji in Catania on November 11 before Argentina are the visitors to Florence a week later, and the Azzurri's year-end programme ends with a clash against South Africa in Padova on November 25.

Italy:

Forwards: Dario Chistolini (Zebre), Simone Ferrari (Treviso), Andrea Lovotti (Zebre), Tiziano Pasquali (Treviso), Federico Zani (Treviso), Luca Bigi (Treviso), Oliviero Fabiani (Zebre), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Toulouse/France), Dean Budd (Treviso), Marco Fuser (Treviso), Marco Lazzaroni (Treviso), Federico Ruzza (Treviso), Renato Giammarioli (Zebre), Giovanni Licata (Fiamme Oro), Francesco Minto (Treviso), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais/France), Jurgens Steyn (Treviso), Sebastian Negri (Treviso)

Backs: Edoardo Gori (Treviso), Tito Tebaldi (Treviso), Marcello Violi (Zebre), Carlo Canna (Zebre), Ian McKinley (Treviso), Tommaso Boni (Zebre), Tommaso Castello (Zebre), Jayden Hayward (Treviso), Mattia Bellini (Zebre), Angelo Esposito (Treviso), Leonardo Sarto (Glasgow Warriors/Scotland), Matteo Minozzi (Zebre), Edoardo Padovani (Toulon/France)

Agence France-Presse