Former Canberra Raiders NRL captain and now Hull KR Super League captain Terry Campese has been named in Italy’s 22-man squad for their 2017 World Cup qualifying matches against Wales and Serbia.
Also included is 33-year-old former Stade Francais and Racing Metro centre Mirco Bergamasco, who played for Italy alongside brother Mauro in the rugby union World Cups of 2003, 2007 and 2011 and spent this year playing for Sacramento in the United States.
Coach Cameron Ciraldo has chosen a cosmopolitan group of players drawn from five countries – Italy, Australia, France, England and Wales – as the Azzurri aim to take their place in a second successive World Cup.
“I cannot wait to start working with the boys,” Ciraldo said. “The team is very competitive and there are some very talented individuals. I am well aware that it will not be easy but the objective is clear, to qualify for the World Cup.
“We have much to do and little time to work so everyone will have to give their best. I am confident in what we can achieve out on the field together and as a group with a clear-headed aim. We also get the chance to spread this wonderful sport to a new, eager city in Monza and we want to show everyone our very best.”
Italy play their first pool A match against Serbia in Belgrade on Saturday, October 22, before taking on John Kear’s Wales in Monza a week later.
Squad: D Parata (Blacktown), P Ziliotti (Brianza Tigers), J Reithmuller (Cairns Brothers), J Tramontana (Canterbury Bulldogs), J Walker (Cronulla), T Campese, J Mantellato (both Hull KR), C Calegari (Lezignan), G Pagani (Lions Brescia), G Hiscox (Mackay Cutters), G Celerino (Newcastle Thunder), K Quabba (North Queensland), R Ghietti, C Wilkie, J Castellaro (all Northern Pride), R Lepori (Oldham), S Wakeman (St George Illawarra), C Vitalani (South Wales), B Santi (Townsville), R Tramonte (Windsor Wolves), C Centrone (Wyong Roos), M Bergamasco (unattached).