The 26-man Italian squad for the RBS 6 Nations has been assembled at Rome's Park Hotel for a training stint ahead of their February 4 clash with Ireland at Lansdowne Road.
Italy coach Pierre Berbizier, the former French scrum half, captain and coach, has brought his squad together for a five-day get together ahead of the 2006 Championship.
Veteran scrum half and former team captain Alessandro Troncon has failed to make the squad. The 32-year-old played skippered Benetton Treviso throughout the Heineken Cup pool stages, making six appearances, including one in last Saturday's 43-26 defeat by Ulster at the Stadio Comunale di Monigio.
However, Calvisano's New Zealand-born scrum half Paul Griffen, his club mate Pablo Canavosio and Simon Picone, Troncon's understudy at Treviso, have been selected ahead of the Azzurri's elder statesman.
Recalled after missing Italy's autumn internationals are experienced winger Denis Dallan, the aforementioned Picone, prop Salvatore Perugini and Argentinian-born lock Santiago Dellape. Italy beat Tonga (48-0) and Fiji (23-8) in two of their November Tests - Argentina got the better of the Azzurri, winning 39-22 in Genoa on November 19.
ITALY 6 NATIONS SQUAD:
BACKS: Mirco Bergamasco (Stade Frangais), Gonzalo Canale (Clermont Auvergne), Pablo Canvosio (Ghial Calvisano), Denis Dallan (Benetton Treviso), Ezio Galon (Overmach Parma), Paul Griffen (Ghial Calvisano), Ludovico Maria Nitoglia (Ghial Calvisano), Samuele Pace (Arix Viadana), Ramiro Pez (Perpignan), Simon Picone (Benetton Treviso), Alessandro Stoica (Montpellier), Rima Wakarua (SKG GRan Parma).
FORWARDS: Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Frangais), Marco Bortolami (Narbonne), Martin Castrogiovanni (Ghial Calvisano), Carlo Del Fava (Bourgoin), Santiago Dellape (Agen), Carlo Festuccia (SKG GRan Parma), Andrea Lo Cicero (Conad L'Aquila), Carlos Nieto (Arix Viadana), Fabio Ongaro (Benetton Treviso), Sergio Parisse (Stade Frangais), Salvatore Perugini (Ghial Calvisano), Josh Sole (Arix Viadana), Maurizio Zaffiri (Ghial Calvisano), Alessandro Zanni (Ghial Calvisano).