The squad will fly from Rome to London on Sept. 13 to take part in the 13th World Cup, they told a press conference at Turin's Lingotto Congress Centre. This crowns a long track record which has brought the team closer to the most important event in international rugby.
The preliminary list included more than 50 players chosen in the gatherings of Villabassa, L'Aquila, Fiuggi and Turin, where Italy made its season's debut in the Cariparma Test Match against Scotland on Saturday. Italy's World Cup national rugby team will count on 17 forwards and 14 backs. Sixteen of the players are World Cup first-timers and Castrogiovanni, Masi and captain Parisse belong to the short list who have taken part in four world championships. Mauro Bergamasco, 36, with Brian Lima, is a member of the exclusive club that has represented Italy in five world cups.
Three of the players who attended the Turin gathering, second row Marco Bortolami, flanker Robert Barbieri and winger Michele Visentin, will not be training for the championship. Team manager Luigi Troiani, said: "I want to thank all the players for their great commitment and for the loyalty to the national team that they have shown in these two months of hard work. I am sure that the same spirit will continue to characterise this last phase on the road to the World Cup and that it will peak during the event itself." Head coach Jacques Brunel said: "Our aim, in these last few years, has always been to strike the right balance for this team and the choices made today for the World Cup are in line with this approach. Our ambition is to qualify for the quarter finals for the first time in the history of Italian rugby and this is the goal that we have focused on and based our choices on." The players chosen are: Props: Matias Aguero, Martin Castrogiovanni, Dario Chistolini, Lorenzo Cittadini, Michele Rizzo. Hookers: Leonardo Ghiraldini, Davide Giazzon, Andrea Manici.
Second row: Valerio Bernabo', Joshua Furno, Marco Fuser, Quintin Geldenhuys. Flankers/N.8: Mauro Bergamasco, Francesco Minto, Sergio Parisse, Samuela Vunisa, Alessandro Zanni. Half-backs: Edoardo Gori, Guglielmo Palazzani, Marcello Violi. Fly-halfs: Tommaso Allan, Carlo Canna.Centre/Wings/Full-backs: Tommaso Benvenuti, Michele Campagnaro, Angelo Esposito, Gonzalo Garcia, Andrea Masi, Luke Mclean, Luca Morisi, Leonardo Sarto, Giovanbattista Venditti. (AGI)