The FIRL, with the recent tour to England by its national A side, has been able to finalise the Azurri side, that will participate in the upcoming 2013 World Cup qualifications.
Captained by Anthony Minichello and Cameran Cirarldo, the Italian Rugby League national side will play in the European tournament where the last two places for the qualification for the 2013 World Cup will be assigned.
Italy will face Russia in Padova on the 15th October with a 15.00 kick off and then move to Belgrade (Serbia) where they will face Serbia on the 23rd October followed by the last game also in Belgrade against Lebanon on the 29th October.
Vice president Fabio Di Pietro, said that "just three years ago when F.I.R.L established the association Italia rugby league, it was unthinkable that Italy would participate in the World cup qualifications, this means that F.I.R.L has worked hard in the last three years, both within Italy and at an international level. The qualification for the 2013 World cup is a prestigious goal, but there is still alot of work to be done to develop rugby league to the highest level within the national territory.
For the qualifications Italy will be able to count on the best available players. The Azzuri team will be made up of players of the caliber of Anthony Minichiello, Cameron Ciraldo, Vic Mauro, Joel Reitmuller, all currently playing in the NRL, and Western Suburbs Magpie Rocky Trimarchi and Craig Gower.
The rest of the team will be made up of the best players originating from the SERIE A RL, who have just recently returned from the tour to England with the Italy A steam.
Daniele Veronese, secretary for the F.I.R.L belives that qualifying for the world cup will bring huge benifits for the development of rugby league in Italy and for the movement itself.
F.IR.L invites everyone to come and see these players of the highest level at Padova at the Plebiscito stadium on the 15th October at 15.00, to support Italy in their quest to qualify for the 2013 World Cup.
The Italian side that will Participate in qualification for the World cup, under the guide of Carlo Napolitano and Paul Broadbent are:
Matthew Sands, (Grifons PD); Craig Gower (Harlequins RL); Christophe Calegari (Lezignan); Vic Mauro (Manly Sea Eagles); Dom Nasso (Monto); Matt Parrata (Mt Isa); Cameron Ciraldo (Newcastle Knights); Ryan Ghetti (Northern Pride); Joel Riethmuller (North Queensland Cowboys); Alex Ranieri (North Sydney Bears Ex Western Suburbs Magpie); Jean Christophe Borlin (Saint Gaudens); Ryan Tramonte (St Patricks Blacktown); Anthony Minichiello (c) (Sydney Roosters); Ray Nasso, Cederic Prizzon (Villefranche de Rouergue); Ben Falcone (Wentworth, Ex Western Suburbs Magpie); Rocky Trimarchi (Western Suburbs Magpies); Rhys Lennarduzzi (Western Suburbs Magpies); Ben Stewart (Windsor Wolves); Juan Pablo Carrara, Fabrizio Ciaurro, Thomas Covati, Giovanni Franchi, Romain Pavoni, Dean Vicelich, Matteo Rossi, Santiago Monteagudo, Rob Quitadamo(XIII del Ducato); Josh Mantellato (Wyong), Jonathan Marcinzack.