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Bath star among 8 rookies named in 39-man Italy squad



A preliminary team of 39 players has been announced by Italy’s head coach Gonzalo Quesada for a training camp in L’Aquila from June 19–22, in preparation for their summer tour in 2024. Italy will be going on its first international trip since 2018. Thirty-three of the 39 athletes on the list will be at the camp.

For the first time since 2015, the training is being held in L’Aquila, and a public open training session has been set for June 21. Eight players are new to the team; five of them, Zebre Parma prop Muhamed Hasa, Bath full-back Matt Gallagher, Castres hooker Loris Zarantonello, Oyonnax flanker David Odiase, and hooker Giampietro Ribaldi, are making their maiden call-up.

Gallagher previously played for Saracens and Munster and is moving to URC side Benetton next season.

Giulio Marini, previously unable to join due to injury, is also included. Also returning to the squad are François Mey, Giovanni Montemauri and Jacopo Trulla – with the latter rejoining after two years out.

Injured players Federico MoriLorenzo Pani and Dino Lamb are unavailable.

“We have chosen a quality, strong and very balanced squad for this Summer Tour,” said Quesada. “We know the value of our opponents, especially when they play at home: they won’t be easy games.

This tour marks the conclusion of an arduous season in which Benetton Rugby remains competitive in both the URC and TOP14 playoffs, with Paolo Garbisi and Capuozzo leading their respective teams. The available team will adhere to the same philosophy as the Six Nations, wherein a few young players will be incorporated into a group of veteran players with a track record, such as Vintcent, Izekor, or Lynagh, with the aim of making an impression both now and in the future.

From a technical and human perspective, it will be an amazing chance for this group to go through a significant collective experience that is part of the growth path we have set for ourselves. This is the second cycle of this new experience.

I have no doubt that everyone in the group will make the most of the situation to grow as people, solidify our sense of team identity, and advance our rugby, especially in the areas where we know it can be improved. On June 22, the squad will leave for Auckland. On July 5, 12, and 21, respectively, Italy will play test matches against Samoa in Apia, Tonga in Nuku’Alofa, and Japan in Sapporo.

Simone Ferrari – Benetton Rugby
Danilo Fischetti – Zebre Parma
Muhamed Hasa – Zebre Parma
Marco Riccioni – Saracens
Mirco Spagnolo – Benetton Rugby
Giosuè Zilocchi – Benetton Rugby

Gianmarco Lucchesi – Benetton Rugby
Giacomo Nicotera – Benetton Rugby
Giampiero Ribaldi – Zebre Parma
Loriz Zarantonello – Castres

Niccolò Cannone – Benetton Rugby
Riccardo Favretto – Benetton Rugby
Edoardo Iachizzi – Benetton Rugby
Federico Ruzza – Benetton Rugby
Andrea Zambonin – Zebre Parma

Lorenzo Cannone – Benetton Rugby
Alessandro Izekor – Benetton Rugby
Michele Lamaro – Benetton Rugby
Giulio Marini – Mogliano Veneto Rugby
Sebastian Negri – Benetton Rugby
David Odiase – Oyonnax
Ross Vintcent – Exeter
Manuel Zuliani – Benetton Rugby

Alessandro Garbisi – Benetton Rugby
Martin Page-Relo – Lione
Stephen Varney – Gloucester

Paolo Garbisi – Toulon
Leonardo Marin – Benetton Rugby
Giovanni Montemauri – Zebre Parma

Juan Ignacio Brex – Benetton Rugby
Tommaso Menoncello – Benetton Rugby
François Mey – Clermont
Marco Zanon – Benetton Rugby

Ange Capuozzo – Stade Toulousain
Matt Gallagher – Bath Rugby
Simone Gesi – Zebre Parma
Monty Ioane – Lione
Louis Lynagh – Harlequins
Jacopo Trulla – Zebre Parma

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