Six Nations Rugby | Italy prepare for tilt at U18 Six Nations Festival title as Dolcetto names squad

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The Azzurrini will play the defending champions on the opening day of fixtures, on Saturday 13 April at Gillman’s Ground, Hartpury, before they face France and Sixways and Wales at Kingsholm to round off the tournament.

The Italians lost to Wales and were edged out by Ireland but notched an impressive win over England in last year’s competition.

Italy faced France in their first Test match of the season on 29 March, where second-half scores from Stephen Varney, Simone Gesi and Filippo Drago – all of whom made Dolcetto’s squad – weren’t enough to force a dramatic comeback as they fell short in a 34-22 defeat against France.

Each of the six countries will play three games in the tournament, which comes to an end on Sunday, April 21, at the home of Kingsholm, where Varney plies his trade with Gloucester Rugby.

One of two players based outside of Italy – the other being Luca Filippo Gruttadauria, who plays for Toulouse – the rest of the squad are selected from across the country’s domestic pyramid.

Two others to watch will be Riccardo Favretto and Tommaso Menoncello, both of whom are based at Italian giants Benetton.  

Italy U18 squad: Luca ADORNI (RUGBY PARMA FC1931), Manfredi ALBANESE GINAMMI (SS LAZIO RUGBY 1927), Luca ANDREANI (RUGBY ROVATO), Andrea ANGELONE (AVEZZANO RUGBY), Matteo BALDELLI (CAVALIERI UNION R.PRATO SESTO), Nicholas BORDIN (FEMI-CZ ROVIGO), Lorenzo CANNONE (FLORENTIA RUGBY), Tommaso DI BARTOLOMEO (ARGOS PETRARCA RUGBY), Filippo DRAGO (MOGLIANO RUGBY 1969), Riccardo FAVRETTO (BENETTON RUGBY TREVISO), Mattia FERRARIN (AROGS PETRARCA RUGBY), Simone GESI (LIVORNO RUGBY), Luca Filippo GRUTTADAURIA (STADE TOULOUSAIN – FRANCE), Leonardo MARIN (MOGLIANO RUGBY 1969), Umberto MAROCCHI (SPRING RUGBY), Matteo MEGGIATO (CUS PADOVA), Tommaso MENONCELLO (BENETTON R. TREVISO), Ion NECULAI (KNIGHTS UNION R.PRATO SESTO), Andrea PANCINI (CAVALIERI UNION R.PRATO SESTO), Giacomo RAVAGNAN (PESARO RUGBY), Marco RUFFATO (RUGBY BASSANO), Matteo SASSI THOMAS (TUSCANY AIRPORTS I MEDICEI), Fabio SCHIABEL (LAFERT SAN DONA ‘), Dorin TICA (KAWASAKI ROBOT CALVISANO), Daniele ULISSE (SS LAZIO RUGBY 1927), Stephen VARNEY (GLOUCESTER RUGBY – ENGLAND)

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2019 U18 Six Nations Festival fixtures

Matchday one – Saturday 13 April

KO       Gillman’s Ground, Gloucester

12:00    England v Wales         

14:30    Ireland v France

17:00    Scotland v Italy

Matchday two – Wednesday 17 April

KO       Sixways Stadium, Worcester

11:00    France v Italy

13:30    Ireland v England

16:00    Wales v Scotland

Matchday three – Sunday 21 April

KO       Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester

11:00    Scotland v Ireland

13.30    England v France

16:00    Italy v Wales

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