Andrea de Giandomenico has made his choice of 23 players to face Ireland in Dublin on 24 October:
Sara BARATTIN (Arredissima Villorba, 93 caps)
Melissa BETTONI (Stade Rennais, France, 56 caps)
Beatrice CAPOMAGGI (Unione Rugby Capitolina, 3 caps)
Giulia CERATO (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 3 caps)
Giordana DUCA (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 16 caps)
Valeria FEDRIGHI (Stade Toulousain, France, 20 caps)
Giada FRANCO (HBS Colorno, 15 caps)
Manuela FURLAN (Arredissima Villorba, 73 caps, captain)
Lucia GAI (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 68 caps)
Elisa GIORDANO (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 41 caps)
Veronica MADIA (Rugby Colorno, 17 caps)
Benedetta MANCINI (Unione Rugby Capitolina, 2 caps)
Michela MERLO (Kawasaki Rugby Calvisano, 6 caps)
Aura MUZZO (Arredissima Villorba, 12 caps)
Vittoria OSTUNI MINUZZI (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 2 caps)
Beatrice RIGONI (Valsugana Padova, 41 caps)
Francesca SBERNA (Kawasaki Robot Calvisano, 4 caps)
Francesca SGORBINI (ASM Romagnat, France, 3 caps)
Michela SILLARI (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 55 caps)
Erika SKOFCA (Valsugana Rugby Padova, uncapped)
Sofia STEFAN (Valsugana Rugby Padova, 54 caps)
Sara TOUNESI (ASM Romagnat, France, 14 caps)
Silvia TURANI (Grenoble, France, 14 caps )
This selection brings the Azzurre back to something like full strength. It’s good to see Manuela Furlan’s name restored after a lengthy injury. Veronica Madia and Aura Muzzo also return to provide more experience and skill. Erika Skofca will have the chance to make her debut after two postponements delayed her opportunity early in the year.
Their first problem is simply lack of match practice. Their international programme was cut short in February as the nation was one of the first to be struck down by Covid-19. Their new season has barely got under way, so there will be a lot of rust to be removed before they line up at Energia Park, Donnybrook.
Their second is the need to keep everyone clear of infection. Five of their number are based in France where game after game has been postponed.
This Round 4 fixture has been brought forward one day to Saturday 24 October from the date originally planned.
The squad will fly over with the men’s team by charter aircraft, an unusual arrangement.