Bishops to invade Italy

Bishops will embark on a 14-day rugby tour of Italy, departing the Republic’s shores on 28 March.

Dave Mallett, brother of current Italy national coach, Nick Mallett, will again be the head coach of the side for the 2010 season. Mallett and his assistant coach, Kevin Foote, have selected a 24-man squad for the tour.

The team will play five games in total, with two games apiece being played in Venice and in the capital city, Rome.

Speaking to keo.co.za, former SA Sevens captain Foote said, ‘The boys are very excited about the tour. The squad has been training three times a week and the tour will go a long way to preparing our guys for the tough Cape schoolboy rugby season.’

Although the squad’s training regime has been somewhat hampered by the boys’ summer sports commitments, the focus is now firmly on their preparation for the Italian onslaught.

Foote also confirmed that six players have returned from last year’s side. Experienced players such as scrumhalf Guy Whitfield, express winger Nathan Nell and prop William Griese will form the nucleus of this year’s side.

‘The games in Italy will expose our players to different conditions and cultures. The tour will lay the foundation for the season ahead,’ said Foote.

The tour concludes on 9 April.