Tommy Allan

WP junior star on Italy bench

Former WP U19 flyhalf Tommy Allan has been named on Italy’s bench for their Test against the Wallabies in Turin.

Allan, the nephew of former Springbok hooker John, was the second highest point-scorer in last year’s domestic U19 tournament, with 126. He started at No 10 in Western Province’s 22-18 win against the Blue Bulls in the final.

Allan was born in Italy, his father is South African and his grandparents Scottish, so he qualified to play international rugby for any of those nations. As it turned out, he played for Scotland U20 at the 2012 and 2013 Junior World Championships, the first of which took place in Stellenbosch.

After the latter tournament, however, Allan was not offered a contract by WP, and when his agent told him that Perpignan were interested in signing him, he decided to move to France. Allan made an impressive Top 14 debut against Racing Métro and when more good performances followed, the Scottish Rugby Union, which had also not offered him a contract, suddenly became interested in him again.

Allan, though, had already been named in Italy’s squad for their November Tests and decided that he wanted to play in a light blue jersey and not a dark blue one.

The Italy team to play Australia on Saturday has another two South Africans on the bench, lock Quintin Geldenhuys and scrumhalf Tobias Botes.

Italy – 15 Luke Mclean, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Alberto di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Subs: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Joshua Furno, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Tommy Allan, 23 Tommaso Iannone.


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Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images