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Italy v France, Six Nations Championship, March 21
Masi returns for Italy
Scrum.com
March 16, 2009
Italy's Andrea Masi fends off Ireland's Stephen Ferris, Italy v Ireland, Six Nations Championship, Flaminio Stadium, Rome, Italy, February 15, 2009
Masi's contribution to Italy's Championship campaign has been limited by injury and suspension © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Andrea Masi
Tournaments/Tours: Six Nations
Teams: Italy

Italy will be boosted by the return of Andrea Masi for Saturday´s Six Nations encounter against France.

The Biarritz fullback joined his team-mates in training today having recovered from a neck injury that saw him miss last weekend´s 20-15 defeat to Wales. He had previously sat out the Azzurri´s 26-6 setback to Scotland in Murrayfield through suspension.

According to Italy flanker Mauro Bergamasco, Masi has found a re-invigorated team, who despite failing to score a try did show an improved performance against Wales after losses against England, Ireland and Scotland.

"We are a united team," said the Stade de Francais player."Against Wales, we showed our true worth. The fans enjoyed our performance and now we have to carry on the good work done in recent weeks."

Nick Mallett´s men will be hoping they can combine a good performance with a victory on the final weekend of the tournament. The Azzurri are desperate to avoid a defeat against Les Bleus which will see them finish winless and end up with the Wooden Spoon for a second year in a row.

"We still have a lot of work to do this week," admitted Bergamasco."We have to improve in attack. I am certain the fans will be supporting us all the way against France.

"We are disappointed not to have won a game so far but I am very proud of the team´s approach to training so far. Despite the initial adversities we faced in our opening two games, the team has continued to work on the pitch with great sacrifice."

Alongside Masi, Mallett has called up Kristopher Burton, Michele Sepe, Tommaso Reato, Jean-Francois Montauriol and Simone Favaro in preparation for this weekend´s encounter at the Stadio Flaminio.

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