Hull Kingston Rovers pair, playmaker Terry Campese and goal kicker Josh Mantellato, head the names in the Italy squad for their pool A games against Serbia and Wales in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup European qualifiers, that begin next weekend.
Cameron Ciraldo’s selection includes players who ply their trade in five countries – Italy, France, England, Australia 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,” he 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 22-Man Squad
Dean Parata (Blacktown), Patrik Ziliotti (Brianza Tigers), Joel Reithmuller (Cairns Brothers), Joe Tramontana (Canterbury Bulldogs), Jayden Walker (Cronulla Sharks), Terry Campese, Josh Mantellato (Hull KR), Christophe Calegari (Lezignan Corbieres), Guiseppe Pagani (Lions Brescia), Gavin Hiscox (Mackay Cutters), Gioele Celerino (Newcastle Thunder), Kieran Quabba (North Queensland Cowboys), Ryan Ghietti, Col Wilkie, Justin Castellaro (Northern Pride), Richard Lepori (Oldham Roughyeds), Shannon Wakeman (St George-Illawarra), Chris Vitalani (South Wales Ironmen), Brenden Santi (Townsville Blackhawks), Ryan Tramonte (Windsor Wolves), Chris Centrone (Wyong Roos), Mirco Bergamasco (unattached)