30th September 2010, 07:53
Italy to travel to Wales with 21-man squad
Italy will feature mixture of domestic and international-based players
Italy will feature a mixture of domestic and international-based players when they arrive at The Racecourse in Wrexham to take on Wales this Sunday (kick-off 2pm).
They will also select from the same young squad for the game against Wales under 23 next Wednesday at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay (kick-off 7pm).
The Italians have revealed their 21-man travelling squad and in addition to a selection of the best players from the Italian league, they are calling on stars from Australia, France, England and Wales to field what will be a strong challenge to the home side, who are preparing for an important Alitalia European Cup campaign.
The local Welsh fans will all know Rocky Trimarchi, who has been starring for Crusaders all season, but there is further British interest in the Italian side with Bradford-based teenage hopeful Jonathan Marcinczak also selected. He made his senior debut for his club, West Bowling, in the National Conference just last season.
There are nine players selected who play their rugby league in Australia as well as French-born Christophe Caligari whose father is Italian. He has played at every level for France below senior level but has now chosen Italy as his country as, like Wales, they stride toward the 2013 World Cup.
The 25-year old, who plays his rugby league for French Elite outfit Pia, alongside former Crusaders star Neale Wyatt, is looking forward to the challenge that the Welsh match will bring.
"I feel very excited to play with this team," he said. "It means something special when you know that's the country of your origin, my grandparent's and dad's country. I feel very proud that the Italian Rugby League trust me for this new challenge and I want to give my best and play my best rugby.
"I think there is a good opportunity to develop rugby league in Italy but it needs support from the Rugby League European Federation and the media. Also, the national team is the engine of the sport so if we can perform well in these games against Wales, the interest will grow and that will help development.
"To exist on the international stage, rugby league needs countries like Italy that bring something new. We have to prove that we have the players to play in a World Cup and, at the same time, to develop our own championship to build a competitive team with Italian-based players."
Italy arrive in Wales in a confident mood following a two-test series at home to Lebanon. They lost the first game 16-8 but won the second match 24-16 which pleased their coach Carlo Napolitano.
"I am really happy for the boys to have grinded out a result," he said. "Their defensive qualities were exceptional. All week, they have been happy to learn and it is a pleasure to coach the team.
"We have five players from this year's Italian Championship Final to figure in the squad which is good, but the main aim for the games in Wales is to look at the level we have in and below NRL and Super League to see what we have, so we can start to plan for the World Cup Qualifiers next October."
Tickets for Wales v Italy at The Racecourse Ground in Wrexham on Sunday 3rd October priced from £10 for adults and £5 concessions at can be bought by going to www.walesrugbyleague.co.uk, by calling the Crusaders' ticket office on 0871 221 5911 or by calling into the club shop at The Racecourse.
Tickets for the under 23 match at Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay can be bought on the day of the game, priced £5 for adults, £3 for concession and £1 for juniors.
Squad for Wales:
1. Domenic Nasso (Parramatta Eels)
2. Josh Mantellato (Newcastle Rebels)
3. Rob Quitadamo (XIII del Ducato)
4. Domenico Brunetta (Grifons Padova)
5. Liam Zollo (Grifons Padova)
6. Ben Stewart (Windsor Wolves)
7. Rhys Lenarduzzi (Moss Vale Dragons)
8. Andrew Kaleopa (Cabramatta)
9. Raymond Nasso (Windsor Wolves)
10. Ryan Tramonte (Windsor Wolves)
11. Dean Vicelich (Leoni Veneti) - PICTURED ABOVE
12. Rocky Trimarchi (Crusaders)
13. Ben Falcone (Wests Tigers)
14. Daniel Sansone (Northern Raiders)
15. Christophe Caligari (Pia Donkeys)
16. Marcelo Segundo (XIII del Ducato)
17. Fabio Nannini (Magnifici Firenze)
18. Matt Sands (Grifons Padova)
19. Jonathan Marcinczak (West Bowling)
20. Giovanni Bonfiglio (Leoni Veneti)
21. Alessandro Cuomo (XIII del Ducato)
President - Tiziano Franchini
Head Coach - Carlo Napolitano
Assistant Coach / Head Trainer - Reno Santiguida
Stats - Geremi Garzalli
Manager - Dannele Veronese