The 31-man Italian squad will be looking to avoid another wooden spoon in 2019.

Italy Six Nations Squad 2019

Conor O’Shea recently named his Italian Six Nations squad and it has a distinct Benetton flavour to it with as many 18 players from the club making it in.

Fellow Italian club Zebre has 10 representatives with the final three spots being taken up by legends Sergio Parisse, Leonardo Ghiraldini, who is set to bring up 100 caps during the tournament, and finally Wasps back Michele Campagnaro.

Two more notable inclusions are forwards Maxime Mbanda who returns after a horrific run of injuries, and David Sisi who is the only uncapped player in the squad.

New Beginning: David Sisi is the only uncapped player in the squad (Getty Images)

However the Italians will be without two of their biggest stars because Gloucester man Jake Polledri and electric full-back Matteo Minozzi have both been ruled out through injury.

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Head-coach Conor O’Shea said of his squad and the task facing them;

“As ever there have been some difficult selection decisions but we are looking forward to getting the group back together and continuing to work towards not just been competitive but winning at the highest level.

“We know the challenge but also know when we get our levels to where they need to be we can be more than just competitive but we need to work even harder now to ensure the big moments in these matches go our way.

“We have played and beaten teams like Fiji, Japan and Georgia over the past 18 months but have not been able to get the victory against the top tier teams that will really springboard what we are doing in Italian Rugby and also lift the confidence to go to the next level.”

The Italians will open their Six Nations account against Scotland on the 2nd of February.

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Italy Six Nations Squad 2019

Forwards: Simone Ferrari, Andrea Lovotti, Tiziano Pasquali, Cherif Traore, Giosuè Zilocchi, Luca Bigi, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Dean Budd, Federico Ruzza, David Sisi, Alessandro Zanni, Marco Barbini, Maxime Mbanda, Sebastian Negri, Sergio Parisse (c), Abraham Jurgens Steyn, Jimmy Tuivaiti

Backs: Guglielmo Palazzani, Tito Tebaldi, Tommaso Allan, Carlo Canna, Ian McKinley, Giulio Bisegni, Michele Campagnaro, Tommaso Castello, Luca Morisi, Tommaso Benvenuti, Angelo Esposito, Jayden Hayward, Edoardo Padovani, Luca Sperandio

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