10 uncapped players in Italy squad

Castrogiovanni among 30 after tumour surgery

(ANSA) - Rome, January 20 - Italy coach Jacques Brunel named 10 uncapped players in his squad for the first two games of the 2016 Six Nations on Wednesday.
    Brunel's options have been limited by a long list of injuries and the squad features only 16 players that took part in last year's World Cup.
    The side will, as usual, be skippered by inspirational number eight Sergio Parisse, recently named the Top 14's player of last year after leading Stade Francais to the French title.
    Also in the squad is Martin Castrogiovanni, who had to miss the end of Italy's World Cup campaign because he needed surgery on a benign tumour in his back.
    New Zealand born centre-flyhalf Kelly Haimona returns after missing the World Cup due to an arm fracture he suffered in a defeat to Wales in the 2015 Six Nations. The Azzurri open their Six Nations campaign against France in Paris on February 6 and face England at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on February 14 in their first home game. One of the uncapped players is Zebre's Edoardo Padovani, who will be challenging his club mate Carlo Canna for the number 10 shirt.
    Canna was understudy at the World Cup to Tommaso Allan, who is unavailable due to injury. Squad.
    Props: Martin CASTROGIOVANNI (Racing '92, 115 caps), Dario CHISTOLINI (Zebre Rugby, 13 caps), Lorenzo CITTADINI (Wasps, 44 caps); Andrea LOVOTTI (Zebre Rugby, uncapped), Matteo ZANUSSO (Benetton Treviso, uncapped); hookers: Ornel GEGA (Benetton Treviso, uncapped), Leonardo GHIRALDINI (Leicester Tigers, 80 caps); locks: Valerio BERNABO' (Zebre Rugby, 27 caps); George Fabio BIAGI (Zebre Rugby, 8 caps); Marco FUSER (Benetton Treviso, 6 caps); loose forwards: Francesco MINTO (Benetton Treviso, 23 caps), Sergio PARISSE (Stade Francais, 114 caps), Jacopo SARTO (Zebre Rugby, uncapped), Abraham STEYN (Benetton Treviso, uncapped), Andries VAN SCHALKWYK (Zebre Rugby, uncapped), Alessandro ZANNI (Benetton Treviso, 94 caps); scrumhalfs: Edoardo GORI (Benetton Treviso, 47 caps), Guglielmo PALAZZANI (Zebre Rugby, 15 caps); flyhalfs: Carlo CANNA (Zebre Rugby, 7 caps), Edoardo PADOVANI (Zebre Rugby, uncapped); centres-wingers-fullbacks: Mattia BELLINI (Petrarca Padova, uncapped), Giulio BISEGNI (Zebre Rugby, 2 caps), Michele CAMPAGNARO (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps), Tommaso CASTELLO (Rugby Calvisano, uncapped), Gonzalo GARCIA (Zebre Rugby, 39 caps), Kelly HAIMONA (Zebre Rugby, 7 caps), Luke MCLEAN (Benetton Treviso, 75 caps), David ODIETE (Marchiol Mogliano, uncapped), Andrea PRATICHETTI (Benetton Treviso, 1 cap), Leonardo SARTO (Zebre Rugby, 23 caps).