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Monday, 10 February, 2003, 12:22 GMT
Dominguez in Six Nations U-turn
Diego Dominguez will play in Italy's first two Six Nations games after all
Dominguez made his Italy debut in 1991
Fly-half Diego Dominguez has given Italy a Six Nations boost by making himself available for his country's opening RBS Six Nations matches against Wales and Ireland.

The Stade Francais player had originally said that he would not play in the first two games of the tournament because of recurring injuries and club commitments.

But the 36-year-old, who has scored 965 points in 72 appearances since he made his debut in 1991, has responded to a plea from new coach John Kirwan.

"As always, Diego knows that Italy needs him, and he has been very understanding," said former All Black Kirwan.

"Having Diego available is a big boost for everybody and has made me more relaxed."

Dominguez warmed up for the Six Nations by scoring all of Stade Francais' points in the 15-3 win over French rivals Montferrand on Saturday.

Ramiro Pez, the first choice fly-half when Dominguez is not available, is expected to miss out with a twisted ankle.

Three-quarters Denis Dallan (back), Nicolae Mazzucato (torn calf) and Paolo Vaccari (bruised hip) are all doubtful.

Kirwan will name his team to face Wales on Wednesday.


Italy squad:

Backs: Denis Dallan (Treviso), Nicola Mazzucato (Treviso), Alessandro Troncon (Treviso), Giovanni Raineri (Calvisano), Paolo Vaccari (Calvisano), Cristian Zanoletti (Calvisano), Mirco Bergamasco (Padova), Gert Peens (Overmach Parma). Ramiro Pez (Rotherham/Eng), Diego Dominguez (Stade Francais/Fra), Juan Manuel Queirolo (Dax/Fra), Cristian Stoica (Castres/Fra).

Forwards: Mauro Bergamasco (Treviso), Ramiro Martinez (Treviso), Scott Palmer (Treviso), Martin Leandro Castrogiovanni (Calvisano), Giampiero De Carli (Calvisano), Andrea De Rossi (Calvisano), Andrea Moretti (Calvisano), Salvatore Perugini (Calvisano), Carlo Festuccia (Gran Parma), Marco Bortolami, (Padova), Cristian Bezzi (Viadana), Aaron Persico (Viadana), Matthew Phillips (Viadana), Mark Giacheri (Rotherham/Eng).


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