Minozzi opts out of Italy squad for Six Nations


Italy head coach Franco Smith has named a 32-man squad for the Six Nations, but will be without star full-back Matteo Minozzi after the Wasps player opted out of the tournament.

Minozzi, who has scored 11 tries in 22 caps for his country, wrote on social media that he was “physically and mentally tired, too much so to live in a bubble for another two months.”

Smith has called up four uncapped players: prop Daniele Rimpelli and hooker Marco Manfredi of Zebre, Mogliano Rugby second row Riccardo Favretto and Benetton centre Juan Ignacio Brex.

Brex and Benetton teammates Tommaso Allan, Callum Braley, Marco Riccioni and Federico Ruzza will join up with the squad on Sunday, allowing them to feature in their club’s Pro 14 clash with Munster on Jan. 30.

Italy open their Six Nations campaign at home to France on Saturday Feb. 6, before facing England at Twickenham on Feb. 13.

Italy squad:


Mattia Bellini, Juan Ignacio Brex, Monty Ioane, Federico Mori, Luca Speriando, Jacopo Trulla, Marco Zanon, Tommaso Allan, Carlo Canna, Paolo Garbisi, Callum Braley, Guglielmo Palazzani, Stephen Varney.


Michele Lamaro, Maxime Mbanda, Johan Meyer, Sebastian Negri, Federico Ruzza, Niccolo Cannone, Riccardo Favretto, Marco Lazzaroni, David Sisi, Cristian Stoian, Luca Bigi (captain), Gianmarco Lucchesi, Pietro Ceccarelli, Danilo Fischetti, Marco Riccioni, Daniele Rimpelli, Cherif Traore, Giosue Zilocchi.

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