Wales forced to make changes to face Italy

Wales coach John Kear has been compelled to make changes to his squad for their World Cup qualifer with Italy in Monza on Saturday afternoon.

The Welsh will have to do without Ollie Olds (hand injury), Jake Emmit (hamstring strain) and Ian Newbury (damaged leg).

Lewis Reece, Regan Grace and Christiaan Roets are also unable to travel, so Kear has called up St Helens backrower Ben Morris, Leigh prop Sam Hopkins and Hunslet playmaker Danny Ansell to the colours.

Italy are very experienced, they have a lot of talented heritage players in their squad,” said Kear.

“They had a good win in Serbia last weekend and looked dangerous so we know that it’s going to be a big challenge.

“After the disappointing draw with Jamaica which acted as a wake-up call, we’ve had a good week in training and we’ll be looking to go out there and put in a performance.

“Hopefully, that’ll be enough to get us through to next year’s World Cup.”

Italy coach Cameron Ciraldo believes that his unchanged team can build on their 62-14 win over Serbia last time out.

The Azzurri will be led by experienced stand off Terry Campese, while former rugby union international Mirco Bergamasco will also feature again.

Wales are deserved favourites and have a very strong squad and a number of very talented players who are in good form,” said Ciraldo.

“We are very excited to be playing at home in Monza and hopefully have a good crowd to support us. We have come together very well and I’m confident we can challenge, I believe a lot in this group.”

ITALY 19-MAN SQUAD

Dean Parata (Blacktown), Patrik Ziliotti (Brianza Tigers), Joel Reithmuller (Cairns Brothers), Jayden Walker (Cronulla Sharks), Terry Campese, (Hull KR), Christophe Calegari (Lezignan Corbieres), Guiseppe Pagani (Lions Brescia), Gavin Hiscox (Mackay Cutters), Gioele Celerino (Newcastle Thunder), Kieran Quabba (North Queensland Cowboys), Ryan Ghietti, Col Wilkie, Justin Castellaro (Northern Pride), Richard Lepori (Oldham Roughyeds), Mason Cerruto (Parramatta Eels), Shannon Wakeman (St George-Illawarra), Brenden Santi (Townsville Blackhawks), Chris Centrone (Wyong Roos), Mirco Bergamasco (unattached)

WALES 19-MAN SQUAD

Danny Ansell (Hunslet Hawks), Sam Hopkins (Leigh Centurions), Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (London Broncos), Andrew Gay (Mackay Cutters), Joe Burke (Oldham), Phil Joseph (vice captain) Craig Kopczak (captain) (Salford Red Devils), Matty Fozard (Sheffield Eagles), Courtney Davies, Dai Evans, Connor Farrer (South Wales Ironmen), Ben Morris (St Helens), Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Morgan Evans, Steve Parry (University of Gloucestershire All Golds), Anthony Walker (Wakefield Wildcats) and Gil Dudson, Lloyd White (Widnes Vikings)

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