Italy's new coach Jacques Brunel (L) and president of the Italian rugby federation Giancarlo Dondi

Italy head coach Jacques Brunel named today Italy’s 30-man squad ahead of RBS 6 Nations’ 2012 first two rounds.

Italy will face France in the Championship opener in Paris-Stade de France on February 4th and play, one week later against 6 Nations reigning champions England in the impressive venue of Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Brunel, who will make his debut as Italy’s head-coach in a match against his home country, France, confirmed twenty-two players from Italy’s 30-man squad for RWC 2011, naming four uncapped players – three of them coming from the Union’s Academies for the development of young players – in the squad that will assemble in Rome on Sunday, January 22nd.

The four uncapped players are 25-year-old prop from Aironi Alberto De Marchi, who was part of the training squad for RWC 2011; 21-year-old centre Luca Morisi from Crociati who missed “Italy 2011” Junior World Championship due to injury, 22-year-old Aironi winger Giovambattista Venditti and 18-year-old winger Angelo Esposito who emerged from the U18 North-East Academy to win his Italy “A” debut in June against Tonga in the Churchill Cup Plate Final.

Props
Martin CASTROGIOVANNI (Leicester Tigers, 82 caps)
Lorenzo CITTADINI (Benetton Treviso, 8 caps)
Alberto DE MARCHI (Aironi Rugby, uncapped)
Andrea LO CICERO (Racing-Metro Paris, 91 caps)

Hookers
Leonardo GHIRALDINI (Benetton Treviso, 41 caps)
Tommaso D’APICE (Aironi Rugby, 3 caps)*

Locks
Marco BORTOLAMI (Aironi Rugby, 88 caps)
Quintin GELDENHUYS (Aironi Rugby, 25 caps)
Antonio PAVANELLO (Benetton Treviso, 5 caps)
Cornelius VAN ZYL (Benetton Treviso, 6 caps)

Flanker/n.8s
Robert BARBIERI (Benetton Treviso, 16 caps)
Mauro BERGAMASCO (Aironi Rugby, 88 caps)
Paul DERBYSHIRE (Benetton Treviso, 16 caps)
Simone FAVARO (Aironi Rugby, 6 caps)*
Sergio PARISSE (Stade Francais, 83 caps)
Alessandro ZANNI (Benetton Treviso, 58 caps)

Scrum-halves
Edoardo GORI (Benetton Treviso, 9 caps)*
Fabio SEMENZATO (Benetton Treviso, 8 caps)

Fly-halves
Kristopher BURTON (Benetton Treviso, 9 caps)
Luciano ORQUERA (Aironi Rugby, 27 caps)

Centres
Tommaso BENVENUTI (Benetton Treviso, 12 caps)*
Gonzalo CANALE (Clermont-Auvergne, 72 caps)
Luca MORISI (Banca Monte Parma Crociati, uncapped)*
Alberto SGARBI (Benetton Treviso, 14 caps)

Wings
Angelo ESPOSITO (Ruggers Tarvisium/Accademia FIR, uncapped)*
Roberto QUARTAROLI (Aironi Rugby, 3 caps)
Giulio TONIOLATTI (Aironi Rugby, 8 caps)
Giovambattista VENDITTI (Aironi Rugby, uncapped)*

Fullbacks
Andrea MASI (Aironi Rugby, 64 caps)
Luke MCLEAN (Benetton Treviso, 33 caps)

*“Ivan Francescato” U20 Union Academy member