Italian Rugby
Burton dropped from Italy squad
ESPNscrum Staff
June 22, 2011
Italy fly-half Kristopher Burton, Italy training session, Rome, Italy, January 28, 2011
Burton won the last of his nine Italy caps against Scotland in this year's Six Nations © Getty Images

Treviso fly-half Kris Burton was a shock omission from Italy's latest Rugby World Cup training squad.

The Australian-born 30-year-old, who started three of Italy's Six Nations clashes earlier this year, failed to make the cut with coach Nick Mallett opting to retain Bayonne playmaker Craig Gower, Brive's Luciano Orqera and Aironi's Riccardo Bocchino as he trimmed his original 43-man squad to 36 players.

However, Mallett insists that the selection door is not closed for Burton or another high-profile casualty, experienced Racing Metro hooker Carlo Festuccia, who made way for the uncapped Tommaso D'Apice. "If it is necessary to make changes once the training camp has got under way then players like Burton or Festuccia could well be called up," he said.

Mallett, who saw his 'A' side claim the Plate at this year's Churchill Cup with victory over Tonga, will bring his squad together on July 3 and is confident he has got the right mix. "The Churchill Cup was important to evaluate several players but this squad is based on the group with whom we have worked with for the last four years. This is the best squad possible with which to prepare for the World Cup and this camp will serve to lift any lingering doubts we have over some of the players."

Mallett's side face warm-up Tests against Japan on August 13 in Cesena and Scotland in Edinburgh a week later. Italy, who have never progressed beyond the World Cup pool stages, face two-time champions Australia, Ireland, Russia and the United States in Pool C at this year's tournament.

Italy Rugby World Cup training squad:

Forwards: Lorenzo Cittadini (Treviso), Alberto De Marchi (Aironi), Salvatore Perugini (Aironi), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Treviso), Tommaso D'Apice (Roma), Fabio Ongaro (Aironi), Valerio Bernabo (Treviso), Joshua Furno (Aironi), Quintin Geldenhuys (Aironi), Cornelius Van Zyl (Treviso), Robert Julian Barbieri (Treviso), Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Francais/FRA), Paul Derbyshire (Treviso), Manoa Vosawai (Treviso), Alessandro Zanni (Treviso), Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester/ENG), Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing-Metro/FRA), Marco Bortolami (Aironi), Carlo Antonio Del Fava (Aironi), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais/FRA)

Backs: Pablo Canavosio (Aironi), Fabio Semenzato (Treviso), Riccardo Bocchino (Aironi), Tommaso Benvenuti (Treviso), Gonzalo Garcia (Treviso), Luke McLean (Treviso), Andrea Pratichetti (Treviso), Matteo Pratichetti (Aironi), Alberto Sgarbi (Treviso), Giulio Toniolatti (Aironi), Luciano Orquera (Brive/FRA), Edoardo Gori (Treviso), Craig Gower (Bayonne/FRA), Mirco Bergamasco (Racing-Metro/FRA), Gonzalo Canale (Clermont/FRA), Andrea Masi (Racing-Metro/FRA)

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