Nathan Brown headlines Italy squad for Rugby League World Cup

Drew Darbyshire
Nathan Brown Italy PA

Parramatta Eels forward Nathan Brown is one of several NRL players included in the Italy squad ahead of this autumn’s World Cup.

The 29-year-old, who made two appearances for New South Wales in State of Origin in 2020, is by far the most experienced player in the Azzurri side. He has played almost 150 games in the NRL for Wests Tigers, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Parramatta. He qualifies to play for Italy through his grandmother.

Melbourne Storm half-back Cooper Johns, the son of ex-Australia international Matty and nephew of the legendary Andrew Johns, has also been named. His brother Jack represented Italy at the last World Cup in 2017.

Italy have also named several players in the NRL system who are yet to make their first-grade debuts – Luca Moretti (Eels), Jack Campagnolo (Rabbitohs), Kyle Pickering (Sharks) and Jack Colovatti (Eels).

Former Barrow and Featherstone prop Alec Susino, now playing for Penrith in the New South Wales Cup, has also been named.

There are a number of players selected who are currently playing in the British game – Ryan King (Whitehaven), Rinaldo Palumbo (London Broncos), Dean Parata (London Broncos), Brenden Santi (Keighley), Anton Iaria (Barrow) and Richard Lepori (Swinton).

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Italy squad for World Cup:

Daniel Atkinson (Sunshine Coast Falcons)

Nathan Brown (Parramatta Eels)

Joey Tramontana (Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles)

Cooper Johns (Melbourne Storm)

Ryan King (Whitehaven)

Jake Maizen (Sunshine Coast Falcons)

Luca Moretti (Parramatta Eels)

Luke Polselli (Sunshine Coast Falcons)

Jack Campagnolo (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Alec Susino (Penrith Panthers)

Luke Hodge (Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles)

Kyle Pickering (Cronulla Sharks)

Jack Colovatti (Parramatta Eels)

Ethan Natoli (Newtown Jets)

Rinaldo Palumbo (London Broncos)

Nicholas Tilburg (Wentworthville Magpies)

Gieole Celerino (Racing Saint Gaudens)

Simone Boscolo (RC Salon XIII)

Giordano Arena (Catania Bulls)

Ippolito Occhialini (Lignano Sharks)

Alex Rojatto (Lignano Sharks)

Dean Parata (London Broncos)

Brendan Santi (Keighley)

Anton Iaria (Barrow)

Richard Lepori (Swinton)

Italy are in a group alongside Australia, Fiji and Scotland. They get their World Cup campaign underway against Scotland at Kingston Park in Newcastle on Sunday, October 16.

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