Ghiraldini named in Italy squad for Rugby World Cup

By Sports Desk August 19, 2019

Sergio Parisse will lead an Italy squad that includes Leonardo Ghiraldini, fit again following a serious knee injury, at this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Director of rugby Conor O'Shea confirmed his list of 31 names on Monday, with Ghiraldini selected after recovering from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament sustained during the Six Nations in March.

The hooker has won 104 caps for his country but is currently without a club. He will serve as a vice-captain to Parisse, who is set to appear in a fifth edition of the tournament.

O'Shea has also included Wasps full-back Matteo Minozzi after he scored a hat-trick of tries in Sunday's resounding 85-15 win over Russia, as well as Gloucester's Bristol-born scrum-half Callum Braley.

"Choosing the 31 players for the Rugby World Cup - and talking to those who will not continue the adventure with us - was probably the hardest thing I have done since I've been in the rugby world," said O'Shea.

The Azzurri are in Pool B alongside reigning champions New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia and Canada.

"Compared to when I started my journey here, we now definitely have a better team, with more internal competition and much-improved performances," added O'Shea.

"Recently, we have shown that we can play against the top teams when we play our best game.

"At the World Cup we absolutely must win against Namibia and Canada and then focus on the other two big challenges we have. I believe that against South Africa, with this team, we can create an opportunity on our day."

Before the tournament, Italy are scheduled to play Tests against France and England on August 30 and September 6 respectively.

 

Italy's 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup:

Forwards: Simone Ferrari, Andrea Lovotti, Tiziano Pasquali, Nicola Quaglio, Marco Riccioni, Federico Zani, Luca Bigi, Oliviero Fabiani, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Dean Budd, Federico Ruzza, David Sisi, Alessandro Zanni, Maxime Mbanda, Sebastian Negri, Sergio Parisse (capt), Jake Polledri, Abraham Steyn

Backs: Callum Braley, Guglielmo Palazzani, Tito Tebaldi, Tommaso Allan, Carlo Canna, Tommaso Benvenuti, Michele Campagnaro, Luca Morisi, Mattia Bellini, Giulio Bisegni, Jayden Hayward, Matteo Minozzi, Edoardo Padovani

Related items

  • Scarlets and Blues fight back to sink Kings and Treviso Scarlets and Blues fight back to sink Kings and Treviso

    Scarlets turned on the style in the final half hour to avoid an upset against Southern Kings, while Cardiff Blues fought back to defeat Benetton Treviso 34-24 in Pro14 on Sunday.

    After being edged out by Edinburgh last time out, Scarlets found themselves trailing 17-12 to a Kings side with just one win to their name this season.

    However, Ryan Conbeer converted his own try in the 51st minute and further scores from Uzair Cassiem, Dan Jones and Tom Rogers – on his first Pro14 home start – earned a 36-17 win at Parc y Scarlets.

    The Blues were in a perilous position at half-time as tries from Ian Keatley, Irne Herbst and Toa Halafihi helped Treviso into a 19-7 lead – Jason Harries' providing the sole reply from Cardiff.

    Garyn Smith and Ryan Edwards tries – the second of which was converted – levelled things up and, although Halafihi's second briefly put Treviso back ahead, Seb Davies and Lewis Jones crossed and Jason Tovey kicked five more points to seal the points for the Blues.

  • Fernandez grasps Lyon opportunity as Racing fall short Fernandez grasps Lyon opportunity as Racing fall short

    Patricio Fernandez kicked 19 points as Lyon battled to a 29-20 victory over Racing 92 in the Top 14 on Sunday.

    Second-place Lyon responded to losing a top-of-the-table clash to Bordeaux Begles last time out, with Fernandez chosen to play at fly-half in place of Jonathan Wisniewski in response to that defeat.

    The number 10 slotted five penalties and added the extras to tries from Xavier Mignot and Baptiste Couilloud to justify that decision, with Lyon now four points behind Bordeaux.

    Racing made life difficult for the hosts at the Stade de Gerland and took the lead when Yoan Tanga Mangene went over after 20 minutes, while Francois Trinh Duc's score set up a frantic finish before Fernandez's three-pointer four minutes from the end.

    Last season's champions Toulouse outclassed Montpellier 25-7 at home in Sunday's other fixture.

    Zack Holmes, Pierre Pages, Lucas Tauzin and Matthis Lebel all grabbed tries for the home side, with Nemani Nadolo responding for Montpellier.

  • Owen Farrell insists pumped-up England paid no attention to outside pressure Owen Farrell insists pumped-up England paid no attention to outside pressure

    Owen Farrell insists England's rip-roaring start in their Six Nations win over Ireland was not a response to any outside pressure.

    England began their campaign with a poor showing in a defeat against France in Paris before grinding out a victory over Scotland amid tough Edinburgh conditions in round two.

    Back at Twickenham against an Ireland side who had started with two wins from two, England earned a deserved 24-12 triumph over a visiting team coached by Farrell's father Andy.

    Eddie Jones' men had come under scrutiny following a mixed start, while the head coach was initially questioned and subsequently vindicated for his decision to move centre Jonathan Joseph to the wing and continue with flanker Tom Curry at number eight.

    "It's pressure from everybody else, not us," England captain Farrell said when asked about the outside voices.

    "We're unbelievably happy with how things are in-house. We feel we are getting better and couldn't wait to play this game.

    "I think you saw that from the way we started the game. It's nothing to do with anyone on the outside. We are giving ourselves lots of confidence to rip in come kick-off."

    England were boosted by the return of powerhouse centre Manu Tuilagi, a player Farrell feels would make a difference to any team in world rugby.

    "You don't need me to tell you [how important he is]," Farrell added.

    "Any team in the world would want him by your side, we're lucky to have him. He's playing brilliant rugby."

    England led 17-0 at the break with George Ford and Elliot Daly the beneficiaries of some shoddy Ireland defending, while Luke Cowan-Dickie touched down from an England drive in the second half.

    Part of England's success owed to their dominance of the forwards, with the returning Courtney Lawes earning the man-of-the-match award.

    "We knew Ireland were on good form and we came out flying, we put an emphasis on that all week. It was great to get out here with the boys," Lawes said.

    "Any chance I get to put on the shirt, especially at my old age, I relish it. We just want to keep building, the goal is to be the best team the world has ever seen."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.