Italy

On 18thAugust, Conor O’Shea named his 31-man Italy Rugby World Cup squad for Japan – and there were some significant casualties.

The announcement was made after Italy walloped their Rugby World Cup Pool rivals Russia 85 – 15.

Former Leinster star Ian McKinley didn’t make the cut in a team that includes two fly-halves – Carlo Canna and Tomasso Allan.

There’s no room for backrows Jimmy Tuivaiti, Giovanni Licata, nor is there space for centre Marco Zanon or wing Angelo Esposito – among others.

Sergio Parisse is set to equal the record for the most Rugby World Cups appearances after he was selected for what will be his fifth tournament. 

The squad includes 6 props, Simone Ferrari, Andrea Lovotti, Tiziano Pasquali, Nicola Quaglio, Marco Riccioni, Federico Zani. Just one, Lovotti, is from Zebre Club, while all five the others play for Bennetton.

However, two of the three hookers are from Zebre, Luca Bigi and Oliviero Fabiani, while the third hooker, Leonardo Ghiraldini is not registered with a club at the moment.

The second rows feature three from Benetton, Dean Budd, Federico Ruzza and Alessandro Zanni, while David Sisi  plays for Zebre Rugby Club.

Amongst the looseforwards the selection is less dominated by Benetton and Zebre. Just Maxime Mbanda  hails from Zebre, while Sebastian Negri and Abraham Steyn play for Benetton.

Team captain, the Argentinean born Sergio Parisse  plays for Toulon while Jake Polledri is a Gloucester man.

The three Scrumhalves are Callum Braley (Gloucester), Guglielmo Palazzini (Zebre Rugby Club) and Tito Tebaldi (Benetton Rugby)

Two Flyhalves are included: Tommaso Allan (Benetton Rugby) and Carlo Canna (Zebre Rugby Club)

Conor O’Shea has gone with just three specialist midfielders, Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton Rugby), Michele Campagnaro (Harlequins) and Luca Morisi (Benetton Rugby).

The back three feature five selections: Mattia Bellini, Giulio Bisegni and Edoardo Padovani  all from Zebre Rugby Club), with ayden Hayward from Benetton Rugby and Matteo Minozzi  from Wasps completing the 31.

Italy squad for Rugby World Cup

Forwards (18)

Simone Ferrari (Benetton), Andrea Lovotti (Zebre), Tiziano Pasquali (Benetton), Nicola Quaglio (Benetton), Marco Riccioni (Benetton), Federico Zani (Benetton), Luca Bigi (Zebre), Oliviero Fabiani (Zebre), Leonardo Ghiraldini (without team), Dean Budd (Benetton), Federico Ruzza (Benetton), David Sisi (Zebre), Alessandro Zanni (Benetton), Maxime Mbanda (Zebre), Sebastian Negri (Benetton), Sergio Parisse (Toulon – captain), Jake Polledri (Gloucester), Abraham Steyn (Benetton)

Backs (13)

Callum Braley (Gloucester), Guglielmo Palazzani (Zebre), Tito Tebaldi (Benetton), Tommaso Allan (Benetton), Carlo Canna (Zebre), Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton), Michele Campagnaro (Harlequins), Luca Morisi (Benetton), Mattia Bellini (Zebre), Giulio Bisegni (Zebre), Jayden Hayward (Benetton), Matteo Minozzi (Wasps), Edoardo Padovani (Zebre)