Former England winger Paolo Odogwu named in World Cup squad - Ruck

Former England winger Paolo Odogwu named in World Cup squad

Former Wasps wing Paolo Odogwu has been selected by Italy to be part of their World Cup squad.

Although Odogwu, who is now 26 years old, was initially chosen as part of England’s 28-man squad for the 2021 Six Nations, he did not manage to make an appearance during the tournament.

In anticipation of the upcoming World Cup, Odogwu opted to represent Italy, and he made his debut for the team on August 5th against Ireland.

The team’s star full-back, Ange Capuozzo, has also been included in the squad. Capuozzo made a remarkable return to the team on the previous Saturday, marking his first appearance since February. His presence was notably felt as Italy secured a convincing 57-7 victory over Romania.

Having earned the title of World Rugby’s breakthrough player of the year in 2022, Capuozzo is a standout performer for Italy. This accolade further underlines his importance as Italy prepares to compete in the World Cup held in France.

Michele Lamaro, a skilled flanker, has been entrusted with the captaincy of the team. The squad boasts an average age of 26, with a total of 24 players experiencing their first World Cup participation.

Italy World Cup squad

Forwards: Ceccarelli, Ferrari, Fischetti, Nemer, Riccioni, Zani, Bigi, Faiva, Nicotera, N Cannone, Lamb, Ruzza, Sisi, L Cannone, Halafihi, Lamaro (capt), Negri, Pettinelli, Zuliani.

Backs: Fusco, A Garbisi, Page-Relo, Varney, Allan, Da Re, P Garbisi, Brex, Morisi, Bruno, Odogwu, Ioane, Capuozzo, Pani.

5 England players who could swap nations…

Although some players are more likely to do so than others, here we discuss five players who could potentially switch.

#1. Sam Underhill to USA

The Bath back-rower, originally hailing from Dayton, Ohio, possesses the potential to represent the United States due to his place of birth.

Following a temporary absence from the England national team, he could become eligible to join the USA squad.

According to the stipulations, a three-year period of ineligibility would be imposed after his final international appearance for England, which occurred during a match against Tonga in November 2021.

Consequently, he would be able to don the Eagles jersey starting from November 2024.

The USA’s recent failure to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup necessitates any available assistance, and his inclusion would provide valuable support to the team.

During his childhood, his father Greg was stationed in Dayton with the RAF, yet the family relocated to Gloucester when he was approximately ten years old.

Considering his last appearance for England in 2022, he would have to wait until 2025 to represent the Eagles, coinciding with his age of just 30.