Posted by: fiore | March 4, 2009

Looking for a Snow-White for 15 rugby dwarfs

Dwarfs. Apparently in Italy we are all dwarfs so we are unfit for playing rugby. These are, more or less – ok I emphatized them a bit- the words of Italy head-coach Nick Mallett after the defeat of the Azzurri with Scotland (26-6) last Saturday in Murrayfield. …and I’ve never heard such a silly excuse in all of my rugby careeer. He also added, to shake off the responsabily of failure, that he doesn’t take the decision himself but the whole coaching staff is liable.

Snow-White, next Italy coach?

Snow-White, next Italy coach?

These were the very same lads who played last year – with the introduction of few youngsters – and most of them plays abroad in more competitive championships (Guinness Premiership, France Top XIV, Magners League) than our local Super10. Some of them are very highly rated, such as Sergio Parisse or Mauro Bergamasco, or at least I should say that Mauro *was* highly rated before Mr Mallett decided to move him from his natural position of flanker – where he’s the bogeyman for many fly-halves – to the very tecnical/tactical position of scrum-half, where he made a fool of himself. In my opinion, all this nonsense experimenting from Mr Mallett undermined the trust and the respect that his players had for him, and if we add the ridicolously primitiveness of our game plan, and the incapability to bring the ball forward, to adjust to the ELVs and to evolve our game, all that we obtain is shameful stripe of defeats and players who have completely lost their self-confidence. Well done.

I wonder why we keep on hiring coaches from the Southern emisphere when we clearly had better results with latin (French) ones: Brad Johnstone ruled the team like a master seargent, John Kirwan thought he could make the Italian Allblacks out of us (oh come on, be realistic!!), and Nick Mallett wanted bigger impact players, while George Costes and Pierre Berbizier made the most of what they had: they cooked a decent meal with raw materials, and made it tasty.

Draw yourself a conclusion…

Btw, the old man of Italian rugby, chairman Dondi, declared that Mallett is going to stay…. at least ’till the end of this tournament, and then what? Are we going to hire another *rugby wizard* from abroad to solve all our problems? As for the National team I only hope that at FIR they’ll finally understand that what we need is a coach who is huble, has quick wit and is able to make the most of what we’ve got. As for solving *all our problems* well, that’s a totally different and very long story…

PS For Mr. Mallett: here is a very short list of players under 180 cms, I guess he probably knows some of them: Jonny Wilkinson, Diego Dominguez, Brian Habana, Neil Back, Shane Williams, Peter Stringer, Austin Healey….. (others will follow). I wonder if he has the guts to tell them they’re too small for Rugby…



  1. Not to mention the mighty Allan Jacobsen, whose shoulder I hope will get better soon.

  2. uh? is he under 180 cms too?

  3. Chunk’s 178 cm tall πŸ™‚

  4. (o, come si dice a Roma, “se fa prima a saltarglie sopra che a girarglie ‘ntorno…” πŸ˜€ )

  5. …and Chris Cusiter (178 cm), Rory Lawson (175 cm), Ben Cairns (178 cm)…

  6. …and counting! πŸ™‚

  7. Not to mention that Our Beloved Mossy is a mere 183 cm, which maybe is tall enough according to Mallett, still he’s no giant (in fact he looks so tiny when standing next to, say, Nathan Hines or Craig Hamilton… πŸ˜€ )

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