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Italy announce Six Nations squad

Guinness PRO12 Editor

17 Jan 2011

Italy coach Nick Mallett has recalled Benetton Treviso duo Kristopher Burton and Ignacio Rouyet to his 24-man squad for the first two games of the Six Nations Championship which includes 15 Magners League based players.

Australian-born Burton was last capped by the Azzurri in 2009 and will challenge Luciano Orquera for the fly-half jersey while prop Rouyet has been recalled to the national set up for the first time in over a year.

They are joined by nine teammates from Treviso in the squad while five players from Aironi also make the cut.

Mallet has been boosted by the return of captain Sergio Parisse who missed last year’s tournament with a knee injury but he will be without Mauro Bergamasco and Craig Gower who have been ruled out through injury.

"The matches in November demonstrated the quality we have in this group and it's right to keep those who did well in November," said Mallet.

"At the same time, in a World Cup year, it's right to offer two in-form players like Rouyet and Burton an opportunity as they are having a good season in the Celtic League with Treviso.

"We also have a competitive 'A' team with interesting youngsters and experienced players who will play England and Scotland in the coming weeks.

"It is from this extended group that we will choose the 30 men for the World Cup."

Italy face Ireland on February 5 at the Stadio Flaminio before facing England at Twickenham one week later.

Italy squad: Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers), Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing Metro), Salvatore Perugini (Aironi), Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, Leonardo Ghiraldini (both Treviso), Fabio Ongaro (Aironi), Santiago Dellape (Racing Metro), Carlo Antonio Del Fava, Quintin Geldenhuys (both Aironi), Robert Barbieri, Paul Derbyshire (both Treviso), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais), Alessandro Zanni (Treviso), Pablo Canavosio (Aironi), Edoardo Gori, Kristopher Burton, Luke McLean (all Treviso), Luciano Orquera (Brive), Tommaso Benvenuti (Treviso), Mirco Bergamasco (Racing Metro), Gonzalo Canale (Clermont Auvergne), Gonzalo Garcia (Treviso), Andrea Masi (Racing Metro), Alberto Sgarbi (Treviso).