Italy head coach Nick Mallett has named uncapped Riccardo Bocchino in his 24-man squad for the RBS 6 Nations opener against Ireland.
Rovigo fly-half Bocchino has avoided Mallett’s six-man cull and will prove cover for first choice No.10 Craig Gower, who is struggling with a knee injury.
But there is no place for full-back Andrea Marcato despite being the first-choice No.15 in last year’s tournament.
Lock Antonia Pavanello, back-row duo Simone Favaro and Manoa Vosawai, centre Matteo Pratichetti and wing Michele Sepe will all miss out and are set to link up with the Italy ‘A’ squad.
Benetton Treviso’s Leonardo Ghiraldini will captain the Azzurri is the absence of Sergio Parisse.
Italy’s 24-man squad for game against Ireland: Matias Aguero, Mauro Bergamasco, Mirco Bergamasco, Riccardo Bocchino, Marco Bortolami, Gonzalo Canale, Martin Castrogiovanni, Lorenzo Cittadini, Carlo Antonio Del Fava, Paul Derbyshire, Gonzalo Garcia, Quintin Geldenhuys, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Craig Gower, Andrea Masi, Luke McLean, Fabio Ongaro, Salvatore Perugini, Simon Picone, Kaine Paul Robertson, Alberto Sgarbi, Josh Sole, Tito Tebaldi, Alessandro Zanni.