Posted by: fiore | January 30, 2009

Holy Mauro will save the day

Holy Mauro

Mauro Bergamasco is asked to play at scrum-half?

Here we go again: another Six Nations and another experiment.

Only 8 days to the 2009 Six Nations, which will kick off next 07/02, and Italy’s coach Nick Mallett has once again confirmed his predisposition at experimenting. Last year he moved full back Andrea Masi to fly-half, with dubious results, only because he wanted a more physical n°10, and now it is Mauro Bergamasco who’s in his sight.

Mauro, who few years ago has been subject to another experiment by former Italy coach and Allblack John Kirwan when he was relegated at wing, now could be wearing the n°9 jersey.

The lack of competitive scrum-halves, due to Simon Picone, Pietro Travagli and Pablo Canavosio’s injuries, convinced Mallett to play the loose forward at #9.

“Canavosio will recover in time for England and he’ll play number nine in the Six Nations but I want to try Mauro in training,” Mallett told Reuters.

So now Mauro is training at La Borghesiana with former Italy scrum-half Alessandro Troncon and could have a future at half-back for the 2011 World Cup. At the moment there aren’t any quality alternatives.

I am really asthonished. First because Mallett is implying that Italy won’t be able to produce at least 1 competitive scrum-half in the next 3 years, and secondly because we are sacrificing a world class flanker – that no less than Richie McCaw praised as one of the two Italians who could wear the Allblacks jersey – in a different position.

Of course Mauro’s talent allows him to play anywhere on the pitch, and he has already played at scrum-half in his younger days in Under 18 and Under 20, but I think we could find a suitable alternative if we only want, for example Matteo Mazzantini, who has international experience and could play the backup for Canavosio easily, or Stefano Casale and Pino Patelli.


  1. I’m puzzled as well, I was thinking about Casale or Mazzantini to replace Canavosio, too, then the other day I read about this on Rugby1823 and thought “…WTF?!?”.
    But then again I’m not Nick Mallett, he mebbe knows things we don’t know… 😉

    p.s.: “Holy Mauro” got me in stitches! 😀

  2. …or mabbe good old Nick drinks something very strong and I wish I could have a shot too! 😉
    or, again, more seriously, perhaps this is a provocation to the FIR junior coaching staff who are not “producing” the players he needs for the job… who knows!

    Anyway, I took this pix of Mauro last November at Ita-Arg game in Turin. The sun was shining at his back and… well, doesn’t he look like he has an halo? 🙂 Holy Mauro! …well, at least he’s blessed! 😉

  3. Seems like we’re rewriting the Holy (Rugby) Bible — after Baby Jesus Paterson, here comes Holy Mauro… 😀

  4. What a shot, Fiore. Good job! ^. ^ “Holy Mauro” very witty of you 😉

  5. Giorgia: we should start writing the 10 (rugby) commandments, then! 🙂

    Khristina: thanks, I’m glad that you like it. I’ve been very lucky indeed. 😉

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