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Six Nations: Gonzalo Quesada, new Italy coach, calls up five neophytes

New Italy coach Gonzalo Quesada on Tuesday unveiled a list of 34 players, including five newcomers, to prepare for the match against England on the first day of the Six Nations Tournament.

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Six Nations: Gonzalo Quesada, new Italy coach, calls up five neophytes

New Italy coach Gonzalo Quesada on Tuesday unveiled a list of 34 players, including five newcomers, to prepare for the match against England on the first day of the Six Nations Tournament. Quesada, who succeeded New Zealander Kieran Crowley after the last World Cup, did not revolutionize his squad and summoned the executives of the Nazionale, such as Michele Lamaro, Tommaso Allan, Ange Capuozzo or Paolo Garbisi.

The former Argentinian international (38 caps), who until June was manager of Stade Français (2013-2017 and 2020-2023), however wanted to reinvigorate his scrum with five newcomers, three pillars and two third lines, including the South African by birth Ross Vintcent who plays in Exeter. At the end of a training course bringing together the 34 players from January 22 to 27 in Verona, Quesada will reduce his group for the match against England which will take place on February 3 in Rome at the Olympic Stadium.

“We will have the opportunity to all work together for the first time, even if it is only for three days,” said Quesada, quoted in the press release from the Italian Rugby Federation. “We will be able to work on the basics of our game, both in defense and in attack. We will not have much time ahead of us, we will have to maximize this opportunity,” he continued.

Eleventh in the world rankings, Italy has achieved some success in recent years by beating Wales in the 2022 Tournament, as well as Australia and Samoa during the 2022 autumn tour. But during the World Cup 2023, the Azzuri finished 3rd in their group, humiliated by the All Blacks (96-17) and the Blues (60-7). La Nazionale finished in 6th and last place in the 2023 Tournament with five defeats in five matches.

Forwards (20): Lorenzo Cannone (Trévise), Niccolò Cannone (Trévise), Pietro Ceccarelli (Perpignan/FRA), Riccardo Favretto (Trévise), Danilo Fischetti (Parma), Edoardo Iachizzi (Trévise), Alessandro Izekor (Trévise), Michele Lamaro (Trévise), Gianmarco Lucchesi (Trévise), Marco Manfredi (Parma), Sebastian Negri (Trévise), Giacomo Nicotera (Trévise), Matteo Nocera (Parma), Luca Rizzoli (Parma), Federico Ruzza (Trévise), Mirco Spagnolo ( Trevise), Ross Vintcent (Exeter/ENG), Andrea Zambonin (Parma), Giosuè Zilocchi (Trévise), Manuel Zuliani (Trévise).

Backs (14): Tommaso Allan (Perpignan/FRA), Juan Ignacio Brex (Trévise), Pierre Bruno (Parma), Ange Capuozzo (Stade Toulouse/FRA), Alessandro Garbisi (Trévise), Paolo Garbisi (Montpellier/FRA), Simone Gesi (Parma), Monty Ioane (Lyon/FRA), Tommaso Menoncello (Trévise), Federico Mori (Bayonne/FRA), Martin Page-Relo (Lyon/FRA), Lorenzo Pani (Parma), Stephen Varney (Gloucester/ENG) , Marco Zanon (Trevise)

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