Two eligible England players named in Italy World Cup training squad - Ruck

Two eligible England players named in Italy World Cup training squad

Paolo Odogwu, a former member of the England squad, and Dino Lamb, a second-row forward for Harlequins, have been included in Italy’s training group for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Odogwu, aged 26, who transferred from Wasps to Stade Francais last year, previously represented England at the Under-18 and Under-20 levels and was part of Eddie Jones’ 2021 Six Nations squad.

Despite his aspirations to play for England’s senior team, Odogwu, who was born in Coventry and has Nigerian and Italian heritage, expressed his desire to represent Italy.

Paolo Odogwu of England Rugby during the Six Nations Championship, 127th Calcutta Cup match between England and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on February 6 2021. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Odogwu was previously selected by Eddie Jones for England training camps, yet was never given the opportunity to make his international debut. Odogwu was apart of the England squad for the 2021 Guinness Six Nations, yet was never awarded a senior test cap.

Italy will commence their World Cup campaign on September 9 against Namibia in St Etienne, followed by pool matches against France, New Zealand, and Uruguay.

Fans of the Gallagher Premiership will remember Odogwu from his time at Wasps, as the explosive back combines blistering pace with a powerful first step. The source of many highlight reels for Wasps, Odogwu was forced to leave the Premiership after the Covernty club’s administration last Autumn.

Odogwu’s Italian decent enables him to be eligible for Kieran Crowley’s side. However, the 26-year-old has gained England representation at age-group level. Odogwu came through the ranks whilst wearing the rose, during the 2016 U20s Six Nations, and 2017 World Rugby U20s Championship.

Paolo Odogwu of Wasps hands off Joe Simmonds, Captain of Exeter Chiefs during the Gallagher Premiership rugby match between Exeter Chiefs and Wasps at Sandy Park on 17 April 2021. Photo: Cameron Geran/PPAUK

Along with Odogwu, Harlequins forward Dino Lamb has also been selected for the Italian squad. Lamb too is eligible to play for England, but has not yet been capped at senior level. This duo of English qualified stars will hope to book their spots on the plane to France, with the 2023 Rugby World Cup kicking off this September.

Filippo Alongi (Benetton Rugby, 1 Cap)
Paolo Buonfiglio (Zebre Parma, Esordiente)
Pietro Ceccarelli (Brive, 26 Caps)
Simone Ferrari (Benetton Rugby, 44 Caps)
Danilo Fischetti (London Irish, 30 Caps)
Ivan Nemer (Benetton Rugby, 11 Caps) – A Disposizione Dall’1 Luglio
Matteo Nocera (Zebre Parma, Esordiente)
Marco Riccioni (Saracens, 19 Caps)
Federico Zani (Benetton Rugby, 21 Caps)

Luca Bigi (Zebre Parma, 46 Caps)
Epalahame Faiva (Hurricanes, 5 Caps)
Gianmarco Lucchesi (Benetton Rugby, 17 Caps)
Marco Manfredi (Zebre Parma, 1 Cap)
Giacomo Nicotera (Benetton Rugby, 12 Caps)

Niccolò Cannone (Benetton Rugby, 30 Caps)
Edoardo Iachizzi (Vannes, 5 Caps)
Dino Lamb (Harlequins, Esordiente)
Federico Ruzza (Benetton Rugby, 41 Caps)
David Sisi (Zebre Parma, 27 Caps)
Andrea Zambonin (Zebre Parma, 2 Caps)

Lorenzo Cannone (Benetton Rugby, 8 Caps)
Riccardo Favretto (Benetton Rugby, 1 Cap)
Toa Halafihi (Benetton Rugby, 9 Caps)
Michele Lamaro (Benetton Rugby, 26 Caps) – Capitano
Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby, 46 Caps)
Giovanni Pettinelli (Benetton Rugby, 12 Caps)
Manuel Zuliani (Benetton Rugby, 10 Caps)

Alessandro Fusco (Zebre Parma, 13 Caps)
Alessandro Garbisi (Benetton Rugby, 4 Caps)
Martin Page-relo (Stade Toulousain, Esordiente)
Stephen Varney (Gloucester Rugby, 19 Caps)

Tommaso Allan (Harlequins, 71 Caps)
Giacomo Da Re (Benetton Rugby, 1 Cap)
Paolo Garbisi (Montpellier, 24 Caps)

Juan Ignacio Brex (Benetton Rugby, 23 Caps)
Enrico Lucchin (Zebre Parma, 1 Cap)
Leonardo Marin (Benetton Rugby, 6 Caps)
Tommaso Menoncello (Benetton Rugby, 10 Caps)
Luca Morisi (London Irish, 44 Caps)

Pierre Bruno (Zebre Parma, 12 Caps)
Ange Capuozzo (Stade Toulousain, 10 Caps)
Simone Gesi (Zebre Parma, 1 Cap)
Montanna Ioane (Melbourne Rebels, 17 Caps)
Federico Mori (Bordeaux, 12 Caps)
Paolo Odogwu (Stade Francais, Esordiente)
Edoardo Padovani (Benetton Rugby, 44 Caps)

“Integral” – 5 surprise players who could be named in Steve Borthwick’s 55-man England squad

England’s head coach, Steve Borthwick, has made it clear that he expects players who were not part of the Six Nations squad to prove themselves worthy of a place in his World Cup plans.

The team will begin their World Cup campaign in France against Argentina in Marseille on September 9th.

Below are some players who were not involved in the Six Nations but have the potential to strengthen England’s squad.


#1. Joe Launchbury – Harlequins

The 70-times-capped, 6ft5in and 126kg England lock returns to Harlequins this summer having originally joined the Harlequins Academy as a 15-year-old playing for affiliate clubs Worthing and Horsham, staying with Quins until the age of 18 when he moved to Wasps.

Earning his Premiership debut as a teenager, Launchbury was named the Premiership’s Young Player of the Year award for the 2012/13 season.

The 31-year-old went on to establish himself as one of the premier locks in the country, becoming one of the most capped second rows in English history and going on to be named Wasps’ Club captain.