Posted by: fiore | February 1, 2011

6Nations 2011 countdown

Gentlemen (and Ladies too!), start your engine. With only 4 days to go to the 2011 Six Nations kick off even Italian press seems to be interested in our game, at last. Interviews with prop Castrogiovanni and coach Mallet can be seen on major newspapers and while the former is declaring that “we won’t let Ireland play”, the latter is claiming that despite the lack of results, and the supposed agreement between FIR and Perpignan coach Jacques Brunel, time is ripe for winning and that he doesn’t want to leave Italy coaching position after the 2011RWC.

So, nothing new under the sun. The usual pre-tournament declarations which, year after year have been inevitabily disregarded, with bitter disappointment of Italy’s loyal supporters.

Anyway, the first testing ground will be Saturday with Ireland, who arrive at the Flaminio with an extremely long injury list (Tommy Bowe, John Hayes, Jamie Heaslip, Shane Horgan, Rob Kearney, Jerry Flannery, Geordan Murphy, Andrew Trimble and Stephen Ferris). Will Italy be able to take advantage of this apparent weakness? The Azzurri have never had that *killer instinct* typical of the winning teams, and taking on even this Ireland won’t be a piece of cake either. This is the moment of truth, in which we’ll find out if this team has left its teen years behind, to finally become an adult.

Anyway, my player of the tournament-to-watch is young Italian centre Tommaso Benvenuti. He has shown some class in the Magners League and I’m looking forward to seeing him in the top European Tournament.

2011 RBS Six Nations fixtures

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