Italy and South Africa will meet in a men’s senior international for world ranking points at Lidcombe Oval, Sydney on Saturday 28 October (kick off 4pm local time).
The Azzurri are coming off the back of a 38-12 victory over Malta, while South Africa were big winners against Philippines in their previous outing in July.
Italy men’s head coach, Leo Epifania, commented: “The two nations have only met once previously in a tight and tough match, needless to say we will be expecting the same. We had a good result against Malta but we are very clear that to get it right against South Africa, improvement is paramount. We will continue our policy of blooding some of our younger up-and-coming players.”
South Africa captain, Shane Gillam, noted: “We are really happy with how the squad is progressing. In the past 18 months, the attitude of the players has been exceptional with everyone taking accountability to help build both performance and culture. The test against Italy will be a good benchmark to see how competitive we can be against a World Cup-quality side, as Italy looked great against Malta.”
Joseph Tramontana (Blacktown, Massimo Mari (Canterbury Bulldogs), Jack Piccirilli (Dapto), Alexander Myles (Emu Plains), Rinaldo Palumbo (Goannas), Josh Natoli (Matraville), Harrison Nemaz (Moorebank), Matthew Craparotta (Mounties), Daniel Atkinson, Kyle Pickering (Newtown Jets), Damien Nati, Nicholas Lenaz (Parramatta Eels), Anton Iaria, Mason Iaria, Todd Sapienza (St Marys), Joseph Romeo (Swinton), Luke Hodge (Sydney Roosters), Jack Colovatti (Wentworthville), Dominic Biondi (Wynnum Manly),
SOUTH AFRICA SQUAD
Harry Blake (Bulimba Bulldogs), Chelsea Adams, Ashley Bull, Herchelle Classen (Bulimba Valleys), Luke DeVlieg (Burleigh Bears), Jason King (Emerald Tigers), Reilly Canning (Hills District Bulls/Parramatta Eels), Joel Tubbs (Jambaroo Super Roos), Bradley Sparrow (Joondalup Giants), William Shears (Mackay Cutters), Kalum Gulliver-Brown, Shane Gillham (North Beach Sea Eagles), Kam Cryer, Coby Thomas (North Sydney Bears), Joshua Hill (Waves Tigers), Jason Smith (West Wallsend Magpies), Aiden Perry (Western Suburbs Magpies), Byron Hutchinson, Gideon Mzembe (unattached)