Italy preparing for another tough 6 Nations - Green and Gold Rugby
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Italy preparing for another tough 6 Nations

Italy preparing for another tough 6 Nations

Conor O’Shea and Sergio Parisse are determined to score the first win since 28 February 2015, when Italy beat Scotland at Murrayfield.

The task ahead of Wild Boars campaign is very hard. The 2019 edition of the European tournament is shaping up to be one of the tougher ever.

Italy’s head coach will continue to inject new blood in the team, with a large number of Treviso players like debutant centre Zanon, winger Sperandio or forwards Ruzza, Pasquali, Negri, Traoré and Ferrari, all under 25 years of age.

Veteran captain Parisse will be on the helm for the last time, he is expected to reach the overall record for 6 Nations’ caps this season; with the world cup in October 2019, he is expected to play less minutes than the previous editions.

O’Shea clearly put the onus on the players, telling to the media that they need to be “focused on the most intense performance with clarity on what to do it on the pitch with the pressure and the emotions of an international rugby game and execute a great day for us“. He also added that the players need to go on the field and “play without fear in a the way that will make them proud of themselves and their supporters proud of them“.

Alluring to the increased pressure on his winless tenure at the helm of the team in the tournament, O’Shea said “I shy away to use the word win all the time, people will judge me on that, rightly

Italy will play the first game against Scotland coming Saturday in the very same Stadium where they scored their last tournament win. The Scots’s confidence is growing, Stuart Hogg has backed his team as potential tournament winners after a very positive end of the year test campaign.

Parisse more boldly mentioned the “w” word talking about the Scotland game, “we will play to win, to set up our 6 Nations in the right way

After Scotland, the Wild Boars will host dark horse Wales in Rome. Gatland’s last tournament may be the required stimulus for his team to go all the way.

Reigning champions Ireland will be Italy’s next opponent, again in Rome. The tougher game of the Six Nations will be played on home soil, where the Wild Boars scored an historic win in 2013.

Next Italy will travel to Twickenham to face England. A game that has reserved some surprises in the past, but nevertheless never saw the visitors came away with the W.

Lastly Italy will end the 2019 tournament at home against cross alps rivals France, the proverbially predictably unpredictable team now lead by former Italian head coach Jacques Brunel.

  • Nutta

    Many Thanks 22M

    Indeed 2019 may well be the toughest tournament the Boars have faced in 6N yet.

    I am a rugby-expansionist fan. And in writing this I am quite conscious that the Mad Pigs damn near handed the Wobblies their arse as late as last November but for some highly creative refereeing and a pirouetting young prop cum ballerina effort. But surely it is to the detriment of the 6Nations, and European rugby as a whole, that Italy is still assured its spot come what may. Why is it not relegation of some description considered in-favour of the Romania’s and Spains et al of Europe? I’m not saying it needs to be set in stone that last-placed gets relegated each and every year – both in terms of the team going down but also the ability/quality of the team coming up – but surely after such a long spell a change is needed? It is in no ones interest, in any competition, to have one side almost permanently welded to the bottom of the table is it?

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      A hot topic in these parts, Nutta, for sure. With Georgia ranked 2 spots higher, but almost never getting to play Tier 1 teams in order to improve its experience and ranking, there have long been calls for a relegation-style situation. (I hasten to mention that the Lelos were beaten by the Boars in November.) Ain’t gonna happen because the 4 million people here don’t have the financial clout to interest advertisers or ticket sellers, the time zone is more than 2 hours’ difference from the Home Countries, and the flight times are that much longer, the schedules erratic and not enough direct services. There’s much to see and do here, at a pretty good price point, but getting the Old Boys beyond Milano is a struggle.

      • Nutta

        You are right of-course. But since when has the fundamentals of economics and commercial reality ever ever ever been allowed to stem the poetry of rugby? That may require the imposition of another new team as well to both keep the numbers even but also provide a quality vs cost scenario to over-power such arguments… que South Africa along with Romania entering into an 8Nations?

    • RF

      Strictly on rugby terms there is case for Georgia, but they are 4000km from the UK. It’s a competition for North West Europe. Georgia is nowhere near it.

      The only chance I could ever imagine would be to accomodate South Africa, which is obviously very remote too, should that opportunity ever arise. Difference of course being South Africa’s commercial potential.

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    Thanks Diego. Nice write-up.

Italy
@http://twitter.com/22metri

Diego Ghirardi is a rugby fanatic from Italy, living in Melbourne. Played on the wing, now mainly couch flanker or sideline halfback. Enjoys writing in broken English, which should be read in a Franco Cozzo accent to render it more original. In case you understand Italian, you can read his banters on http://australiasport.org or better not

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