O’Shea names Italy squad for November Tests

Colin Cowherd knows exactly how No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 12 Syracuse will end on Saturday

Italy head coach Conor O'Shea has named a 34-man squad for their November Test series.

Captain and number eight Sergio Parisse and hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini are both experienced campaigners and make a welcome return for games against Fiji, Argentina and South Africa on consecutive weekends between November 11-25.

The squad also includes five new faces. They are full-back Matteo Minozzi, Ireland-born fly-half Ian McKinley, New Zealand-born centre Jayden Hayward, and loose forwards Renato Giammarioli and Giovanni Licata.

"Despite numerous injuries, there's been much discussion within the team management over several positions," O'Shea told Agence France-Presse.

"The quality of the work done by Benetton Rugby and Zebre Rugby, and more generally at all levels of Italian rugby, is starting to have a real impact on the quality and quantity of players at our disposition."

O'Shea had this to say about the upcoming Tests: "We have our feet on the ground and we know very well how tough the upcoming games will be.

"But we're also conscious of the fact that we're making significant progress towards our goal, which is to again become an extremely competitive team at international level."

Italy squad: Dario Chistolini (Zebre Rugby), Simone Ferrari (Benetton Rugby), Andrea Lovotti (Zebre Rugby), Tiziano Pasquali (Benetton Rugby), Federico Zani (Benetton Rugby), Luca Bigi (Benetton Rugby), Oliviero Fabiani (Zebre Rugby), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Toulouse/FRA), George Fabio Biagi (Zebre Rugby), Dean Budd (Benetton Rugby), Marco Fuser (Benetton Rugby), Marco Lazzaroni (Benetton Rugby), Federico Ruzza (Benetton Rugby), Renato Giammarioli (Zebre Rugby Club), Giovanni Licata (Fiamme Oro), Maxime Mata Mbanda (Zebre Rugby), Francesco Minto (Benetton Rugby), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais/FRA), Abraham Steyn (Benetton Rugby), Edoardo Gori (Benetton Rugby), Tito Tebaldi (Benetton Rugby), Marcello Violi (Zebre Rugby Club), Carlo Canna (Zebre Rugby), Ian McKinley (Benetton Rugby), Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton Rugby), Tommaso Boni (Zebre Rugby), Tommaso Castello (Zebre Rugby Club), Jayden Hayward (Benetton Rugby), Mattia Bellini (Zebre Rugby), Angelo Esposito (Benetton Rugby), Leonardo Sarto (Glasgow/SCO), Giovambattista Venditti (Zebre Rugby), Matteo Minozzi (Zebre Rugby Club), Edoardo Padovani (Toulon/FRA)

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