The South African Rugby Union will lodge a formal complaint to the International Rugby Board in the next few days after Italy named a watered-down squad for their South African tour next month.
Craig Ray writes for The Times that Italy coach Nick Mallett was forced to name an experimental 24-man squad shorn of its experienced players. At least six players decided to stay behind and represent their clubs in the French Top 14 semifinals instead of touring South Africa and Argentina.
“We have to do without at least eight or nine first-choice players who are either injured or still involved with their clubs so we will take advantage of this international window to experiment,” Mallett said.
“We will evaluate some young players and give them the opportunity to test themselves against two of the best sides in the world.
But Saru and SA Rugby are unhappy .
“We are going to write to Mike Miller at the IRB and ask him to inquire from Italy why they plan to leave so many top players behind,” SA Rugby strategic communications manager Andy Colquhoun said.
Italian captain Sergio Parisse of Stade Francais, Clermont centre Gonzalo Canale, Stade Francais Bergamasco brothers Mauro and Mirco (flank and centre), props Martin Castrogiovanni of Leicester, Salvatore Perugini of Toulouse, and Andrea Lo Cicero of Racing Metro, and Gloucester prop Marco Bortolami will miss the tour.
Ironically, Springbok skipper John Smit will miss the June 21 Test against Italy after being given the green light to play for Clermont in the French semifinals.
Forwards: Matias Aguero (Saracens, England), Roberto Barbieri (Treviso), Lorenzo Cittadini (Calvisano), Salvatore Costanzo (Treviso), Carlo Antonio Del Fava (Ulster, Ireland), Santiago Dellape (Biarritz, France), Jaco Erasmus (Viadana), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Calvisano), Carlos Nieto (Gloucester, England), Fabio Ongaro (Saracens, England), Tommaso Reato (Rovigo), Josh Sole (Viadana), Alessandro Zanni (Calvisano).
Backs: Pablo Canavosio (Castres, France), Gonzalo Garcia (Calvisano), Andrea Marcato (Treviso), Andrea Masi (Biarritz, France), Luke McLean (Calvisano), Ludovico Maria Nitoglia (Calvisano), Enrico Patrizio (Padova), Riccardo Pavan (Overmach Parma), Simon Picone (Treviso), Matteo Pratichetti (Calvisano), Kaine Robertson (Viadana).Tweet