Italy confirm World Cup squad
Boss Mallett 'in no doubt' Azzurri can reach last eight
Last Updated: 22/07/11 1:49pm
Mallett: Hard choice has been made
Italy coach Nick Mallett has named his final 30-man squad for this autumn's World Cup and is confident of making the quarter-finals.
On Friday, Mallett announced the squad he will take to the tournament in New Zealand in September.
After trimming six from his provisional squad, the Italian boss said it had been a difficult decision.
"We knew it would not be easy to choose 30 players for the World Cup," he said.
"All the players that have trained this month have given their all.
"I want to thank the six players that were not included.
"This group is the result of four years of work. We have no doubt that those that have been chosen are the best possible to compete in the World Cup.
"We will go to New Zealand with the best team possible and we have no doubt that the quarter-finals will be within our reach."
The Azzurri will be looking to progress beyond the group stage for the first time ever but to do so will need to finish in the top two of a group containing Australia, Ireland, Russia and the United States.
Italy prop Andrea Lo Cicero is the most-capped player in the squad with 86 appearances and is preparing to play in his fourth World Cup, as is veteran flanker Mauro Bergamasco.
Bergamasco sat out the Six Nations earlier this this year with a shoulder injury but has fully recovered.
Italy captain Sergio Parisse leads a squad that is comprised of 16 forwards and 14 backs, including uncapped pair Tommaso D'Apice and Cornelius Van Zyl.
Treviso flanker Manoa Vosawai and club team-mate Valerio Bernabo were left out of the team after featuring at the World Cup four years ago.
Italy will play two warm-up Tests against Japan on August 13 in Cesena and Scotland in Edinburgh a week later.
Forwards: M Castrogiovanni (Leicester), L Cittadini (Treviso), A Lo Cicero (Racing-Metro),S Perugini (Aironi), T D'Apice (Roma), L Ghiraldini (Treviso), F Ongaro (Aironi), M Bortolami (Aironi), C Del Fava (Aironi), Q Geldenhuys (Aironi), C Van Zyl (Treviso), R Barbieri (Treviso), Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Francais), P Derbyshire (Treviso), S Parisse (Stade Francais), A Zanni (Treviso).
Backs: T Benvenuti (Treviso), Mirco Bergamasco (Racing-Metro) G Canale (Clermont), G Garcia (Treviso), A Masi (Racing-Metro), L McLean (Treviso), M Pratichetti (Aironi), A Sgarbi (Treviso), G Toniolatti (Aironi), P Canavosio (Aironi), E Gori (Treviso), F Semenzato (Treviso), L Orquera (Brive), R Bocchino (Aironi).