Six Nations 2015: Italy call up trio for Scotland trip
Lorenzo Cittadini, Antonio Pavanello and Enrico Bacchin called up as Martin Castrogiovanni heads latest casualty list
Italy have called up Wasps prop Lorenzo Cittadini, Benetton Treviso lock Antonio Pavanello and centre Enrico Bacchin for their RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland on Saturday.
Head coach Jacques Brunel is forced to draft in the trio after versatile back Andrea Masi was injured in Wasps’ Aviva Premiership draw with Newcastle Falcons on Friday night, while Toulon tighthead prop Martin Castrogiovanni needed stitches to his face after being bitten by a friend’s dog and has been ruled out of the match.
Thank you very much for your kind messages, much appreciated them all. I got a nasty deep cut on my calf, I'll be back soon.
— andrea masi (@andrea_masi) February 21, 2015
Treviso captain Pavanello is drafted in as cover for lock Marco Bortolami, who is a doubt with an abductor problem.
There is a lot of culture between our countries, but I feel more Italian than Scottish.
The match, which could determine which country finishes bottom of this year’s championship, will be a homecoming for Ayrshire-born Zebre lock George Biagi, who made his Azzurri debut in the last round of last year’s championship when he came off the bench in defeat to England.
The 29-year-old has started Italy’s opening two matches in this year’s campaign, but has yet to play against the country of his birth.
“For me the focus is not on Scotland now,” Biagi told the Daily Mail.
“Your aim has to be to hold onto the jersey, but when you lose two on the trot, the only focus is on winning the next game.
“It would be great to beat Scotland at Murrayfield, but it will be very tough.
“They have come a long way in the last few years.
“There is a lot of culture between our countries, but I feel more Italian than Scottish.
“I am proud of my Scottish roots, I love my family in Ayrshire and I come home to see them when I can, but now, playing for Italy, I consider myself 100 per cent Italian, and I will be on Saturday.”
Italy squad for Scotland (31):
Forwards (17): Matías Agüero (Zebre Rugby), Dario Chistolini (Zebre), Lorenzo Cittadini (London Wasps), Alberto de Marchi (Sale Sharks), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Leicester Tigers), Andrea Manici (Zebre), George Fabio Biagi (Zebre), Marco Bortolami (Zebre), Joshua Furno (Newcastle Falcons), Marco Fuser (Benetton Treviso), Antonio Pavanello (Benetton Treviso), Marco Barbini (Benetton Treviso), Mauro Bergamasco (Zebre), Simone Favaro (Benetton Treviso), Francesco Minto (Benetton Treviso), Sergio Parisse (Stade Français, captain), Samuela Vunisa (Zebre).
Backs (14): Edoardo Gori (Benetton Treviso), Guglielmo Palazzani (Zebre), Marcello Violi (Cammi Calvisano), Tommaso Allan (USAP Perpignan), Kelly Haimona (Zebre), Enrico Bacchin (Benetton Treviso), Giulio Bisegni (Zebre), Tommaso Boni (Marchiol Mogliano), Luke Mclean (Sale Sharks), Luca Morisi (Benetton Treviso), Simone Ragusi (Benetton Treviso), Leonardo Sarto (Zebre), Giovambattista Venditti (Zebre), Michele Visentin (Zebre).