“Capuozzo, Capuozzo, Capuozzo!”: The crazy, adventurous race of the young blue extreme – who three months ago led in the final minutes of the Cardiff match to the goal of Padovani and the reversal of the result: victory with Walesafter 7 years and 36 consecutive losses in Six Nations – is it the result of chance or of a real growth of the Italian oval movement? We will find out in the coming weeks, with theItaly – fourteenth in the world ranking – engaged in a surprising and in some ways courageous European tour. In Lisbon with Portugal (20th place in the standings) Saturday afternoon 25 June. In Bucharest with the Romania (17th) a week later. Finally, on 10 June in Batumi – a Sunday on the Black Sea – with the Georgia (12 °). Instead of facing stronger teams on paper, as has been the case for 10 years, the National team is measured against opponents that are finally “beatable” but no less dangerous for this, on the contrary: it has a lot to lose, little to gain. And for this very reason the challenge appears more interesting.
Three games to win. In Georgia it will be very hard
The Azzurri must absolutely win all three matches, there are no alternatives: or those who grumble will be right, arguing that they deserve to be relegated to a Six Nations “B”. It won’t happen anyway – not now, at least – but for our rugby it would be a fatal blow. On the contrary, a trio of successes would shut the mouth of the envious. And it would give a renewed and talented Italy, brilliant and adventurous even with that single success in 5 matches, the push to relaunch the successes of the movement (3 times with the U20 and 2 with the female, again in the Six Nations) which they have never been as numerous as in this first part of 2022.
The most difficult encounter is certainly the one with the Georgia, aggressive and robust, which for years has dreamed of this opportunity: last November the Georgians drew with Fiji (15-15) and lost with France, but with a difference (-26) lower than that of Italy in February in Paris (10-37); but four months ago they were stopped on a par by Portugal and won by a whisker in Romania. The climate in Batumi will be torrid: it is the first test in which Italy will have to prove that it has truly deserved the oval paradise that has been reserved for it for twenty years. Also in Bucharest it will be a demanding challenge, especially from a physical point of view. And in Lisbon, the Azzurri will do well to keep the Lusitanians in control.
Rugby “Going back to winning”, the docufilm on the Six Nations: 7 years of waiting, then the race of Capuozzo
All in retreat, on Thursday blues in Lisbon
The national team meeting began in Pergine Valsugana on Friday. With only one absentee: Paolo Garbisi, engaged with his club – Montpellier – in the final stages of the French championship. Double training on Saturday, between the gym and the pitch. On Sunday there will be a recovery day before three intense days where the team group will be busy between meetings and training. Thursday afternoon Italy will leave for Lisbon where on Friday morning the Captain’s Run is scheduled at 11 at the Estadio do Restelo which will host the first match against Portugal on Saturday at 17 local time (18 Italian).
Portugal-Italy, it is already history: for the first time an all-women team referees
by Massimo Calandri
The blues called up
Pylons: Pietro Ceccarelli (Brive), Simone Ferrati (Benetton), Danilo Fischetti (Zebre), Ion Neculai (Zebre), Ivan Nemer (Benetton), Cherif Traoré (Benetton). Hookers: Epalahame Faiva (Benetton), Gianmarco Lucchesi (Benetton), Giacomo Nicotera (Benetton). Second lines: Niccolò Cannone (Benetton), Marco Fuser (Newcastle Falcons), Federico Ruzza (Benetton), David Sisi (Zebre), Andrea Zambonin (Zebre). Third lines: Renato Giammarioli (Zebre), Toa Halafihi (Benetton), Michele Lamaro (Benetton), Giovanni Pettinelli (Benetton), Manuel Zuliani (Benetton). Scrum-halfs: Manfredi Albanese (Calvisano), Alessandro Fusco (Fiamme Oro / Zebre), Alessandro Garbisi (Benetton). Opening medians: Tommaso Allan (Harlequins), Giacomo Da Re (Rovigo / Benetton), Paolo Garbisi (Montpellier). Centers: Juan Ignacio Brex (Benetton), Leonardo Marin (Benetton), Tommaso Menoncello (Benetton), Marco Zanon (Pau). Wings / extremes: Pierre Bruno (Zebre), Ange Capuozzo (Grenoble), Edoardo Padovani (Benetton), Jacopo Trulla (Zebre).
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