All matches, from 4 February to 18 March, live on Sky, streaming on Now. Italy also free-to-air on Tv8. The Azzurri returning from 5 wins out of 7 games are aiming for two victories. Coach Crowley: “We’re not the most physical, nor the biggest. But we have a good defensive system and lots and lots of enthusiasm”
Six Nations 2023 minus nine. And in the elegant headquarters of Sky Italia, in Milan Santa Giulia, here is the grand style launch of the upcoming tournament. It starts again from champion France, the Azzurri’s first opponent on Sunday 5 February at the Olimpico in Rome. And we are heading towards an edition which, for better or for worse, will be conditioned by the prospect of the September-October World Cup, scheduled just beyond the Alps. Kieran Crowley’s team picks up where he left off, with their historic success in Wales. Lamaro and teammates, including that match, have won five of the last seven matches played, overcoming Australia for the first time and seem to have definitively come out of the tunnel which, precisely in the six Nations, had led to a series of 36 consecutive knockouts in seven years. Now, at the door, three challenges out of five housewives. But with a calendar that appears equally very complicated. With an extra push: Benetton Treviso, which forms the backbone of the team, between the Urc and the Challenge Cup, has won the last six games played.
“Let’s face one commitment at a time – says the coach -: the World Cup is the future. Now I only have the Tournament in mind, or rather only the first challenge against France. Then I will think of England and then of Ireland. We want to continue on the wave of enthusiasm of the good November triptych, proposing the same spectacular rugby and the same passion. We are not the most physical team, nor the biggest. But we have a good defensive system and we will leverage our characteristics. We have included other young players in the group, several will return to their clubs over the weekend, the next week of training will be decisive for the best approach to their debut”. The absences of Paolo Garbisi (at least for the first two games) and Monty Ioane will not go unnoticed: “Tommy Allan – suggests Crowley – is playing a lot and well at opening for the Harlequins and it is the same role in which he played in November against Australia and South Africa. While waiting for Garbisi, we will focus on him, with the returning Da Re and Padovani as alternatives”.
The national team is meeting in Verona. And it is from there, via video link, that Crowley and Lamaro illustrate the prospects for the Tournament. The captain dwells on a highly topical technical aspect: dangerous tackles and attacker-defender head-to-head contact. “Hitting low is essential for the safety and protection of us players – says the back row – but for a simple fact of dynamics between the ball carrier and the defender it is unthinkable to give up the tackle above the waist. Going lower would expose us to further risks, because the head would risk colliding with the opponent’s knee. It is therefore right to make everyone aware of the relative risks and emphasize the problem, but the best solution is probably to train the tackle in general terms in the best possible way, to avoid borderline situations”.
It was up to federal president Marzio Innocenti, Italy’s captain at the first World Cup in 1987, to set a goal: “I’d like to see the great competitiveness shown in Cardiff in all matches – he says – so that I can take the field with the conviction that I can play against them all. Even in Twickenham? Yes, even in Twickenham. Absolutely I expect at least two victories. Meanwhile, at least for now, after the recent results obtained, no one is talking about Italy’s exclusion from the Six Nations anymore… And let’s not forget the Under 20 tournaments and that of the women’s national team capable of hitting the fourth world championships as the men’s has never been able to do”. Massimo Brunello, youth coach, adds: “We are a training national team, we work according to the franchises and the presence of many young people in the first team shows that we are on the right path. Last season we got three victories, this group is just as competitive and we too will try to take advantage of the three home matches”.
“The victory in Wales is in the history of Italian sport – says Giovanni Malagò, president of Coni – and it gives everyone a load of responsibility: now expectations are important”. “Our partnership is getting stronger – adds Vito Cozzoli, n. 1 of Sport and Health – for the offer of the Olimpico and the Foro Italico which, with the third time, will be at the center of the scene”. It is Marzio Perrelli, executive vice president of Sky Sport who does the honors: “Thanks also to the wide offer linked to rugby – he says – Sky Sport, which is celebrating its twentieth birthday this season, is increasingly the home of sport”.
All matches in the Men’s Tournament, from February 4 to March 18, will be broadcast live, including streaming on Now. Those of Italy, in particular, on Sky Sport Uno and, unencrypted, on Tv8, with dedicated pre- and post-match studies. The under 20 matches are also scheduled to be broadcast (debut on Friday 3 February in Monigo against France) and the women’s matches from 25 March to 29 April. The team of commentators and commentators will include Francesco Pierantozzi, blue voice, Federico Fusetti, Andrea De Rossi, Moreno Molla, Diego Dominguez, Davide Camicioli, Paolo Malpezzi and Alessandro Moscardi. Plus the technical advice of Maurizio Vancini. “This team – says Dominguez connected from Argentina – now has its own clear personality. And he knows how to entertain. Two victories are achievable: I’d bet immediately on the match against France and then on the one, still at home, against Wales, without forgetting that the Dragons, like England, will have a new coach and will therefore be even more motivated.” fun: all the lights will be on Ange Capuozzo, chosen by the international federation as emerging player of the year to the sound of splendid goals. With a “première” broadcast next Tuesday at 11pm on Sky Sport Uno, “Ange… the blue”, an original production, will trace a detailed profile.
January 26, 2023 (change January 26, 2023 | 22:19)
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