Gower and Berrigan could link up for Italy in World Cup


Former Australia internationals Craig Gower and Shaun Berrigan could link up for Italy in next year’s Rugby League World Cup.

Gower, 34, has already committed to the Italian cause, according to skipper Anthony Minichello, and Berrigan is among a number of players that head coach Carlo Napolitano is talking to Down Under.

The former Hull utility made the last of his 14 appearances for the Kangaroos in 2006, before his move to Super League ahead of the 2008 season. He returned to the NRL in 2011 with New Zealand Warriors, and then moved on to Canberra.

London Broncos half-back Gower has already played representative rugby union for Italy, earning 13 caps during his spell in the other code, which ended when he joined the Broncos last year.

He made 18 appearances for Australia between 1999 and 2008 and qualifies for Italy through his grandfather.

Speaking at the Rugby League World Cup press conference that marked a year to the tournament start, Minichello said: “This is a major opportunity for Italy rugby league. They’ve got a competition up and running in Italy and we’re really excited about taking part in the first game of the World Cup.

Terry Campese is a big target for us and Shaun Berrigan is qualified so we’re trying to get him on board as well.”

Italy start their World Cup campaign against Wales in the double-header opener at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on October 26, 2013.

They then face Scotland at Derwent Park on November 3 before their final group game against Tonga at Halifax on November 10.


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