Sergio Parisse has been omitted from Franco Smith’s 35-man Italy squad that will prepare for the 2020 Six Nations with a training camp in Rome from 19 to 26 January.
Parisse will not feature in the opening two rounds of the competition but is set to be involved later in the tournament for his international swansong.
Thirty-one of the players called up come from the two Italian PRO14 franchises, with 16 from Zebre and 15 from Benetton. Pietro Ceccarelli, the Edinburgh prop whose previous game in the blue jersey dates back to June 2017, is recalled.
Niccolò Cannone, absent for the first camp in 2020 in Calvisano, and Alberto Sgarbi, captain of Benetton, also return after last appearing for the Azzurri in June 2014 against Fiji.
“In the squad we have a mix of experience and young players who want to establish themselves on the international rugby scene,” Smith said.
“Everyone’s contribution from the start will be fundamental in order to better prepare for the opening game in an increasingly competitive and exciting tournament.”
On Sunday January 26, Italy will move to Verona ahead of their opening encounter of the Six Nations versus Wales at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
Italy Six Nations squad
Forwards: Pietro Ceccarelli, Danilo Fischetti, Andrea Lovotti, Marco Riccioni, Giosue Zilocchi, Luca Bigi, Oliviero Fabiani, Federico Zani, Dean Budd, Niccolo Cannone, Federico Ruzza, David Sisi, Alessandro Zanni, Marco Lazzaroni, Giovanni Licata, Johan Meyer, Sebastian Negri, Jake Polledri, Abraham Steyn
Backs: Callum Braley, Guglielmo Palazzani, Marcello Violi, Tommaso Allan, Carlo Canna, Giulio Bisegni, Tommaso Boni, Luca Morisi, Alberto Sgarbi, Mattia Bellini, Tommaso Benvenuti, Michelangelo Biondelli, Jayden Hayward, Matteo Minozzi, Edoardo Padovani, Leonardo Sarto