Gallagher set to debut for Italy against Samoa

Gallagher set to debut for Italy against Samoa

 Italian Men’s Rugby National Team head coach Gonzalo Quesada, has announced the team that will face the hosts Samoa on Friday 5 July at 5pm local time (6am Italian time) in Apia in the first of three Test Matches of the summer international window.

It will be the ninth match between the two teams, the third in Apia, and will be officiated by New Zealand referee Paul Williams.

Matt Gallagher will make his debut at fullback, fresh from signing with Benetton Rugby and will be the fifth debutant under Quesada's tenure, while on the wings will be another new Lion, Louis Lynagh along with veteran Monty Ioane. The starting center pairing at the 2024 Guinness Six Nations is well-tested, with Brex and the MVP of the 2024 Tournament Menoncello, while the keys to the midfield will once again be entrusted to Paolo Garbisi and Varney. 

The loose trio will comprise of, captain Lamaro, Vintcent and Izekor, with the latter inserted in the formation after a rib problem suffered by Sebastian Negri in training. In the second row, Ruzza and Niccolò Cannone, while in the front line, Quesada chooses the experience of the trio composed of Ferrari, Lucchesi and Fischetti.

Ready to come off the bench are Loris Zarantonello – another debutant on the match roster along with Gallagher – Spagnolo, Zilocchi, Iachizzi, Zuliani, Lorenzo Cannone, Page-Relo and Marin.

“The main challenge for us was to find all our automatisms and interconnections after four months without having the opportunity to work together with all the athletes coming from the habits of their clubs. This Summer Tour comes at the end of a very long season that began in June 2023 with the preparation for the RWC. The players have shown, as usual, great energy and great human quality. The primary objective, in addition to the focus on our performance, is to manage the match according to how we prepared it, further improving various phases of the game. This Tour - in which we will have several adversities to face - represents a new opportunity for growth for the entire group, further strengthening our team identity” said Gonzalo Quesada.

Giacomo Nicotera, who has previously been out with his club, will not be available for the match against Samoa. 

This is the schedule of Italy's matches in the 2024 Summer Tour:

Samoa v Italy 05.07.24, Apia – 17:00 local time (6:00 Italian time)
Tonga v Italy 12.07.24, Nuku'Alofa – 15:00 local time (4:00 Italian time)
Japan v Italy 21.07.24, Sapporo – 14:05 local time (7:05 Italian time)

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