Wed, 28 Jul 2021

South African Franco Smith said Wednesday he wanted to create a "new DNA" for Italian rugby as he was officially unveiled as the national side's head coach.

Goosen will oversee defence with Giampiero De Carli in charge of forwards, Corrado Pilat (skills), Alessandro Troncon (three-quarters) and athletic trainers Quintin Kruger and Giovanni Sanguin.

"Starting from three cornerstones - greater unpredictability, greater physicality and the ability to always give everything thanks to a high work ethic.

In Smith, the Italian rugby federation have chosen a coach who knows the country well having won two titles as a player and two as a coach over a decade with club side Treviso.

"But I am convinced that we have the means to do it. We will be competitive.

He coached Treviso for six years between 2007 and 2013 before taking over as coach of South African side the Cheetahs in 2015.

Ex-Italy scrum-half Troncon, returns having spent four years as Azzurri assistant coach under Nick Mallett from 2008-2012.

"As soon as we are allowed, we will meet."

The Italian rugby season has been cancelled and the return to competition remains uncertain because of the virus pandemic.

"Every Thursday I talk to colleagues from the tournament federations.

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