Every day this week, our trainee Sports Reporter Gary TwoSheds will take a look at each of the teams in this year’s Six Nations and assess their chances of success. Today, it’s the turn of Italy.
When Italy joined the then Five Nations to create the Six Nations, most people expected Italy to be the whipping boys of the tournament. And Italy have mostly lived up to that title.
One of the most exciting things about Italy is their anthem, which is often shouted as opposed to sung.
Over the last few years, they’ve also lit up the tournament with cunning ploys like the ‘no man in a ruck’ tactic, which meant that there was no offside line. Instead, players stood well back and Italian fans followed suit by standing 10 ft back from the bar when they went to drown their sorrows after the game.
Captain this year is Sergio Parisse, often referred to as The Mighty Sergio Parisse. He’ll be leading Italy out against Scotland for their first game this weekend. Scotland, once proud Wooden Spooners themselves will be looking to make a name for themselves at home. Italy will be without their playmaker – that one who used to have massive sideboards. I forget his name. You know the one. He had dreadlocks. Ah shit. What was his name? Little scrum half fella. Ah balls. Him. They’ll be without him. He retired years ago.
They currently reside at 15th in the World rankings and although coach Conor O’Shea insists that they are making progress, Italy enter this year’s Six Nations looking to end a run of 17 straight defeats. Once again they will be defending their place in the Six Nations but we all know that should they leave the competition, it just wouldn’t be the same without them.
Image: Alessio Bragadini