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Thread: Craig Gower named in Italian rugby squad

  1. #1
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    Craig Gower named in Italian rugby squad

    May 18, 2009 - 10:47PM


    Former Penrith rugby league international Craig Gower was on Monday among four uncapped players named in a 30-man Italian rugby union squad for next month's tour to Australia and New Zealand.

    After being involved in a string of off-field controversies while playing in the NRL, the former Panthers captain joined French rugby club Bayonne in 2007 and has been in impressive form playing at inside-centre.

    Gower joins a growing list of NRL stars who have become dual internationals, although he will be the first to play for a country other than Australia.

    The former NSW and Kangaroos halfback qualifies for Italy through his grandfather.
    Italy coach Nick Mallett was initially concerned about selecting Gower after reading about his off-field track record on Wikipedia but has softened his approach with Gower reportedly staying out of trouble and the Azzurri failing to win in their last nine starts.

    Viadana second row Quintin Geldenhuys received his first ever call to the squad while Rovigo's Simone Favaro and Gilberto Pavan of Overmach Parma are the other two uncapped players.

    Italy will however be without fullback Andrea Masi and hooker Carlo Festuccia.
    The pair, who both hail from the Abbruzzo region in Italy where there was a major earthquake last month that claimed about 300 lives, have asked to be excused from the tour to be able to spend time with their families.

    "I've spoken to Andrea and Carlo, they would have been in the squad," said Mallett.
    "There's no need to explain that I understand their motivation. They'll be back in the squad for the November Test matches."

    The squad will meet in Rome on June 1 before leaving for Melbourne two days later.
    They face the Wallabies on June 13 in Canberra and then again a week later at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne before heading to New Zealand to face the All Blacks on June 27 in Christchurch.

    Having lost their last nine matches, including all five in this year's Six Nations, Mallett knows that he is taking his team into the lion's den.

    "I think this tour will be one of the most difficult Italy have ever undertaken," said Mallett.

    "We're coming up against two of the best teams in the world but it's a good opportunity for us to progress, especially for our youngest players."
    Squad:
    Forwards: Matias Aguero, Mauro Bergamasco, Marco Bortolami , Martin Castrogiovanni, Carlo Antonio Del Fava, Simone Favaro, Quintin Geldenhuys, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Jean-Francois Montauriol, Sergio Parisse, Salvatore Perugini, Tommaso Reato, Franco Sbaraglini, Josh Sole, Fabio Staibano, Alessandro Zanni.

    Backs: Mirco Bergamasco, Gonzalo Canale, Pablo Canavosio, Gonzalo Garcia, Craig Gower, Andrea Marcato, Luke McLean, Gilberto Pavan , Simon Picone, Matteo Pratichetti, Roberto Quartaroli, Kaine Robertson , Giulio Rubini, Giulio Toniolatti.
    © 2009 AFP


    http://news.rugbyheaven.com.au/break...0518-bcsa.html

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  2. #2
    Champion RuckNMaul's Avatar
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    who was the sydney radio peronality??

    good read
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Gower

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    I don't follow League much but that makes for shocking reading. I wonder if much goes on behind the scene amongst Rugby Union players that we don't know about.

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    Legend Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    But he was a Mungo at the time. He underwent a conversion on the road to Damascus.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuckNMaul View Post
    who was the sydney radio peronality??

    good read
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Gower
    Alan Jones- he'd heard that Gower kissed a guy once and tried to get him into the toilet with him...

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    Yeah, but what riled him up was all Jones's mates trying to pile into the cubicle for a bit of the group thing...

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    He sounds a thoroughly charming man. Wait until he tries that sort of behaviour in Italy.

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