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Experience and youth in 33-player Italy squad

Manuela Furlan

Andrea di Giandomenico has confirmed Italy’s 33-player squad for the 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations ahead of their Championship curtain-raiser against France.

Captain Manuela Furlan will lead an experienced Italian outfit, one which includes Sara Barattin – the only Italy women’s player in history to reach 100 international caps for the Azzurre.

They are not the only veterans in the squad, with Ilaria Arrighetti, Melissa Bettoni, Lucia Gai, Elisa Giordano, Beatrice Rigoni, Michela Sillari and Sofia Stefan all having more than 40 caps.

But there will also be an opportunity for a crop of new rising stars to prove themselves.

Francesca Barro, Alessia Margotti, Emma Stevanin, Alessandra Frangipani and Emanuela Stecca and Francesca Granzotto will be looking to win their first caps for their country.

After travelling to France in Round 1, Italy welcome England in Round 2 before heading on the road again to face Ireland. They then finish their Championship against Scotland and Wales.

And Di Giandomenico is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

Manuela Furlan celebrates after scoring a try

He said: “At the starting blocks we will meet the two best performing teams on the world scene, France and England, two very demanding matches from a physical and technical point of view.

“In Ireland, we will have to manage our energy wisely. Finally, we will meet a highly motivated Scotland – following qualification for the World Cup – and a Wales team in the process of renewal.

“We will be able to offer playing opportunities to less experienced players and try some variations within our staff, to recover some athletes and see new ones in the context of competition.

“We believe we have a competitive squad, aware of the commitment necessary to guarantee the high performance of the group for the entire duration of the event. We have worked well to prepare for the many challenges of this season: the field, as always, will give us the answers.”

Italy Women’s 33-player squad:

ARRIGHETTI Ilaria – Stade Rennais, 51 caps

BARATTIN Sara – Villorba Rugby, 101 caps

BETTONI Melissa – Stade Rennais, 64 caps

BARRO Francesca – Valsugana Rugby Padova, uncapped

CAPOMAGGI Beatrice – Villorba Rugby, 4 caps

D’INCA’ Alyssa – Villorba Rugby, 4 caps

DUCA Giordana – Valsugana Rugby Padova, 24 caps

FEDRIGHI Valeria – Stade Toulousain, 28 caps

FRANGIPANI Alessandra – Villorba Rugby, uncapped

FRANCO Giada – Rugby Colorno, 21 caps

FURLAN Manuela – Villorba Rugby, 81 caps

GAI Lucia – Valsugana Rugby Padova, 76 caps

GIORDANO Elisa – Valsugana Rugby Padova, 49 caps

GRANZOTTO Francesca – Unione Rugby Capitolina, uncapped

LOCATELLI Isabella – Rugby Colorno, 28 caps

MADIA Veronica – Rugby Colorno, 25 caps

MAGATTI Maria – CUS Milano Rugby, 38 caps

MARGOTTI Alessia – Valsugana Rugby Padova, uncapped

MARIS Gaia – Valsugana Rugby Padova, 6 caps

MERLO Michela – Rugby Colorno, 11 caps

MUZZO Aura – Villorba rugby, 20 caps

OSTUNI MINUZZI Vittoria – Valsugana Rugby Padova, 9 caps

RIGONI Beatrice – Valsugana Rugby Padova, 49 caps

SBERNA Francesca – Rugby Calvisano, 6 caps

SEYE Sara – Rugby Calvisano, 2 caps

SILLARI Michela – Valsugana Rugby Padova, 63 caps

STECCA Emanuela – Villorba Rugby, uncapped

STEFAN Sofia – Valsugana Rugby Padova, 62 caps

TOUNESI Sara – ASM Romagnat, 18 caps

TURANI Silvia – Rugby Colorno, 16 caps

STEVANIN Emma – Valsugana Rugby Padova, uncapped

VECCHINI Vittoria – Valsugana Rugby Padova, 3 caps

VERONESE Beatrice – Valsugana Rugby Padova, 7 caps