Italy still believe ahead of Eng clash

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:58
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SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Italy coach Conor O'Shea made no changes as he announced a 31-man training squad for an upcoming Six Nations clash against England.

Italy, who recorded an historic 20-18 win over South Africa last November, began their campaign with a 7-33 defeat to Wales before suffering a record 10-63 defeat to Ireland in Rome last Saturday.

O'Shea will announce his starting XV for England on February 22, four days before the Azzurri face the defending champions at Twickenham.

Italy, who have collected the wooden spoon 11 times in the tournament, have never beaten England in 22 previous meetings.

Former Harlequins coach O'Shea, however, has instilled belief in a rejuvenated Azzurri side and captain Sergio Parisse said he has full faith in the Irishman.

"I have total confidence in Conor and my teammates," the Stade Francais No.8 said on Saturday.

"Perhaps Ireland were a lot stronger than us, but are we going to sit and accept it? No, we have to lift our heads up and go out and do the job.

"I don't care if we concede 40, 50 or 60 points. My attitude is we're a competitive side that has to work hard and keep our heads high."

Italy squad: Edoardo Padovani, Giulio Bisegni, Angelo Esposito, Giovambattista Venditti, Tommaso Benvenuti, Tommaso Boni, Michele Campagnaro, Luke McLean, Tommaso Allan, Carlo Canna, Giorgio Bronzini, Edoardo Gori, Marcello Violi, Pietro Ceccarelli, Dario Chistolini, Lorenzo Cittadini, Andrea Lovotti, Sami Panico, Tommaso D'Apice, Ornel Gega, Leonardo Ghiraldini, George Biagi, Joshua Furno, Marco Fuser, Federico Ruzza, Andries Van Schalkwyk, Simone Favaro, Maxime Mata MBanda, Francesco Minto, Sergio Parisse, Abraham Steyn.

Agence France-Presse

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