Italy have named two players from 2013 NRL Grand Final winners Sydney Roosters in their starting team to face England in the first ever senior international between the two nations at Salford City Stadium tomorrow (4.30pm).
The Azurri are captained by Roosters full-back Anthony Minichiello and feature his team-mate Aiden Guerra at centre in a strong line-up for a match that will be played with unlimited interchange.
Minichiello’s brother Mark also starts in the second row whilst there is a place on the wing for Josh Mantellato of Newcastle Knights, who is regarded as the deadliest kicker in the NRL.
Tomorrow is the first opportunity for England fans to catch sight of the host nation’s NRL-based stars with Sam and George Burgess, James Graham and Gareth Widdop all involved in the side that plays Italy and Tom Burgess starting at prop against Samoa.
The match is a warm-up for Rugby League World Cup 2013 and forms part of a double header following a game between England Knights and Samoa (2.00pm). England kick-off RLWC2013 with a match against Australia in Cardiff on Saturday October 26, when Wales also face Italy beneath the closed roof of the Millennium Stadium.
The Italy team to face England at Salford City Stadium tomorrow is:
1 Anthony Minichiello (Sydney Roosters, captain)
2 Josh Mantellato (Newcastle Knights)
3 James Tedesco (Wests Tigers)
4 Aiden Guerra (Sydney Roosters)
5 James Staltonstall (Warrington Wolves)
6 Ryan Ghetti (Northern Pride)
7 Tim Maccan (Tweed Head Seagulls)
8 Anthony Laffranchi (St Helens)
9 Dean Parata (Parramatta)
10 Paul Vaughan (Canberra Raiders)
11 Mark Minichiello (Gold Coast Titans)
12 Brenden Santi (Parramatta Eels)
13 Joel Riethmuller (North Queensland Cowboys)
14 Ben Falcone (South Logan)
15 Gavin Hiscox (Central Coast Capras)
16 Giole Celerino (North West Roosters, Italy)
17 Sam Gardel (South Logan)
18 Christophe Calegari (Lezignan)
19 Chris Centrino (North Sydney Bears)
20 Cameron Ciraldo (Penrith Panthers)
21 Fabrizio Ciaurro (Coventry Bears)
22 Ray Nasso (Avignon)
23 Ben Musalino (Manly Sea Eagles)
24 Ryan Tramonte (Windsor Wolves)