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Mauro Bergamasco included in Italy World Cup squad, Bortolami omitted

Steve Bardens - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

Mauro Bergamasco will play in his fifth World Cup after Italy head coach Jacques Brunel confirmed his final 31-man squad for the tournament.

Bergamasco's experience will be integral to the Azzuri with Brunel choosing 16 players never to feature at a World Cup.

Former captain Marco Bortolami, who has won 112 caps for his country, has not been included while Robert Barbieri and Michele Visentin also miss out on selection. All three had featured in Italy's first World Cup warm-up game against Scotland in Turin.

Sergio Parisse has been named Italy captain ahead of the tournament, which begins on September 18.

"I want to thank all the players for their great commitment and attachment to the national team demonstrated in these two months of hard work," Brunel said.

"I am confident that the same spirit will continue to shine in this last stage of the journey towards the World Cup and will be at the peak during the event.

"Our goal, over the years, has always been to find the right balance for this team. Our ambition is to qualify for the quarter-finals, getting out of the group stage for the first time in the history of Italian rugby, and we have focused our energy and made our decisions based on reaching that goal."

Italy kick off their World Cup campaign against Pool D opponents France at Twickenham on September 19, before going on to face Canada, Ireland and Romania.

Italy 31-man World Cup squad:

Forwards: Matias Aguero, Martin Castrogiovanni, Dario Chistolini, Lorenzo Cittadini, Michele Rizzo, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Davide Giazzon, Andrea Manici, Valerio Barnabo, Joshua Furno, Marco Fuser, Quintin Geldenhuys, Mauro Bergamasco, Francesco Minto, Sergio Parisse (Captain), Samuela Vunisa, Alessandro Zanni.

Backs: Carlo Canna, Edoardo Gori, Guglielmo Palazzani, Marcello Violi, Tommaso Allan, Tommaso Benvenuti, Michele Campagnaro, Angelo Esposito, Gonzalo Garcia, Andrea Masi, Luke McLean, Luca Morisi, Leonardo Sarto, Giovanbattista Venditti.