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Stecca and Cerato in Italian squad for World Cup qualifiers

Manuela Furlan 10/4/2021

Emanuela Stecca and Giulia Cerato have been called up to Italy’s 28-player squad ahead of their World Cup qualifying campaign next week.

Stecca replaces hooker Lucia Cammarano, while Cerato comes in for the injured second row Sara Tounesi as the squad head to Parma in preparation for a packed fortnight.

Italy will host the four-team tournament and take on Scotland on the 13th September before Ireland on the 19th and Spain on the 25th.

All four teams will compete against each other, with the overall winner sealing a spot at next year’s World Cup and the second-placed team entering the repechage round.

Head coach Andrea di Giandomenico has opted for a mixture of youth and experience within his side with scrum-half Sara Barattin in contention to pass the 100-cap mark during the qualifiers.

Barattin will be joined by captain Manuela Furlan, as well as other experienced players such as Lucia Gui, Melissa Bettoni, Sofia Stefan and Michela Sillari.

Meanwhile there are five women looking to make their international debuts in Vittoria Vecchini, Francesca Granzotto, Stecca, Sara Seye and Emma Stevanin all called up, while Alyssa D’Inca will be hoping to add to her one cap.

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“We worked well during training and we arrive prepared and aware of the challenge that awaits us,” said Di Giandomenico.

“Being able to play in Italy, in Parma in particular, certainly gives us an extra boost, but we know we have three tough matches ahead.

“The tournament will be very balanced considering the high quality level of the four teams involved. Reaching the World Cup is one of our goals and we will continue to do our best to do it.”


Lucia Gai (Valsugana Rugby Padova) (73 caps)

Gaia Maris (Valsugana Rugby Padova) (3)

Michela Merlo (Rugby Colorno) (9)

Sara Seye (Rugby Calvisano)*

Melissa Bettoni (Stade Rennais) (61)

Giulia Cerato (Valsugana Rugby Padova) (5)

Emanuela Stecca (Arredissima Villorba)*

Vittoria Vecchini (Valsugana Rugby Padova)*

Giordana Duca (Valsugana Rugby Padova) (21)

Valeria Fedrighi (Stade Toulousain) (25)

Isabella Locatelli(Rugby Monza 1949) (25)

Ilaria Arrighetti (Stade Rennais) (48)

Giada Franco (Rugby Colorno) (18)

Elisa Giordano (Valsugana Rugby Padova) (46)

Francesca Sgorbini (ASM Romagnat) (8)

Beatrice Veronese (Valsugana Rugby Padova) (6)


Sara Barattin (Arredissima Villorba) (98)

Sofia Stefan (Valsugana Rugby Padova) (59)

Veronica Madia (Rugby Colorno) (22)

Beatrice Rigoni (Valsugana Rugby Padova) (46)

Michela Sillari (Valsugana Rugby Padova) 60)

Emma Stevanin (Valsugana Rugby Padova)*

Alyssa D’Inca ‘(Arredissima Villorba) (1)

Manuela Furlan (Arredissima Villorba) (78) – Captain

Francesca Granzotto (Arredissima Villorba)*

Maria Magatti (CUS Milano) (36)

Aura Muzzi (Arredissima Villorba) (17)

Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi (Valsugana Rugby Padova) (6)

*Denotes uncapped at this level.