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Italy 2024 | Gonzalo Quesada

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Italy 2024 | Gonzalo Quesada Empty Italy 2024 | Gonzalo Quesada

Post by bsando Sun 28 Jan 2024, 10:14 am

Italy begin 2024 with new head coach, former Argentina International, Gonzalo Quesada.

Quesada has a glittering CV in comparison to some of Italy’s former international international coaches. Starting out as an assistant coach with France in 2008, the ex Argentine international has since gone on to coach Top 14 sides Racing 92 (formerly Racing Metro) and most recently Stade Francais. During his first stint with Stade he won the league. He famously guided Los Jaguares to a Super Rugby final in 2019, finishing Runners up. His progression to international coach appears well earned with Italy being a strong fit.

The Guinness Six Nations
2024

Italy 34-player squad



Prop
Pietro CECCARELLI (Perpignan, 31 caps
Danilo FISCHETTI (Zebre Parma, 36 caps)
Matteo NOCERA (Zebre Parma, uncapped)
Luca RIZZOLI (Zebre Parma, uncapped)
Mirco SPAGNOLO (Benetton Rugby, uncapped)
Giosuè ZILOCCHI (Benetton Rugby, 16 caps)
Hooker

Gianmarco LUCCHESI (Benetton Rugby, 17 caps)
Marco MANFREDI (Zebre Parma, 3 caps)
Giacomo NICOTERA (Benetton Rugby, 18 caps)
Second row

Niccolò CANNONE (Benetton Rugby, 36 caps)
Edoardo IACHIZZI (Benetton Rugby, 6 caps)
Federico RUZZA (Benetton Rugby, 49 caps)
Andrea ZAMBONIN (Zebre Parma, 3 caps)
Back row

Lorenzo CANNONE (Benetton Rugby, 16 caps)
Riccardo FAVRETTO (Benetton Rugby, 1 cap)
Alessandro IZEKOR (Benetton Rugby, uncapped)
Michele LAMARO (Benetton Rugby, 33 caps)
Sebastian NEGRI (Benetton Rugby, 52 caps)
Ross VINTCENT (Exeter, uncapped)
Manuel ZULIANI (Benetton Rugby, 17 caps)
SH

Alessandro GARBISI (Benetton Rugby, 7 caps)
Martin PAGE-RELO (Lione, 4 caps)
Stephen VARNEY (Gloucester, 24 caps)
FH

Tommaso ALLAN (Perpignan, 79 caps)
Paolo GARBISI (Montpellier, 31 caps)
Centre

Juan Ignacio BREX (Benetton Rugby, 30 caps)
Tommaso MENONCELLO (Benetton Rugby, 12 caps)
Federico MORI (Bayonne, 13 caps)
Marco ZANON (Benetton Rugby, 16 caps)
Back Three

Pierre BRUNO (Zebre Parma, 15 caps)
Ange CAPUOZZO (Stade Toulousain, 16 caps)
Monty IOANE (Lione 25 caps)
Simone GESI (Zebre Parma, 1 cap)
Lorenzo PANI (Zebre Parma, 5 caps)

Quesada has been quite frank about the average age of his Six Nations squad. Some of the more experienced players are only in their mid twenties but have already amounted tens of caps due to the lack of depth in the Italian game. 



The “younger” players selected for this championship are “not a full on choice [to select these players], but the injuries made us do it” states Quesada. 



Other young players selected in the Italian squad such as Ross Vincent (22 years old, No.8) have been selected due to their club form and international potential. Vincent will be familiar to Exeter fans. The pacey No. 8 regularly shows up on the wing and has excellent hands whilst being a ferocious carrier. With time he could develop into a formidable player for Italy.



On the way Quesada wants Italy to play he believes that the root of the Italian game is still the recent style of attacking rugby. However, he may differ to former Italian coaches when it comes to the more burdensome areas of the game. 



“We’re going to have this attacking rugby.. in the top floor of the house, but the foundations would be more about our passion, our character and the basics of the game like the set piece, the defense to really compete… I want to compete.”



On the past form of Italy Quesada is quite blunt. 



“Sometimes I feel that this lack of consistency is something that can be tough to handle for Italy and that sometimes will take some points [away] or Italy take some points [away] that are too easy.”

Quesada say’s “I work a lot, I was really taking all my opportunities and.. it’s so big for me to be here and a part of this, even now sharing the day with Gregor Townsend or Warren Gatland or Andy Farrell.



This Fans Perspective


Look, Italy are ranked number 11 in the world for a reason. They had a very tough group at the rugby world cup which further compounded their already poor ranking in 2023. The limp display against a rampant New Zealand at the world cup highlighted the limits to their attacking game under Crowley. Although they have players who can create threats in attack, they simply could not keep teams out or do the basics well enough.



During the 2023 Six Nations Italy conceded 149 points (two more than Wales). As Quesada say’s, some of these points came far too easily. Despite being on Scotland’s line with the clock in the red at Murrayfield and victory within reach, they lost their composure. Scotland won a turnover ultimately allowing their backs to run the length of the field and score. Another example was when Italy fought hard to compete with France in their opening round match up, to then go on and lose convincingly to a struggling Welsh side at home during Round 4. 



This Time Around

Quesada seems like the man who could address the tardiness to the Italian game. Italy's top club side Benetton is currently sitting 2nd in the URC, two points below Leinster. With the bulk of their international side consisting of these players, they should have the ability to create problems for every team in the Six Nations.

By tightening up their game on the other side of the ball Italy have the players to capitalise on other sides mistakes.
While Italy may struggle to breakdown Ireland they should be competitive against everyone else. If they can harness the energy they exude in attack into their defensive setup then they could indeed, as Quesada say’s, be competitive. 





Sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5joaz4wOdRI&ab_channel=VirginMediaSport
https://federugby.it/


https://www.world.rugby/rankings

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/2024/01/27/italys-coach-gonzalo-quesada-wants-to-maintain-cohesion-before-teams-opening-six-nations-game-against-england-in-rome/
https://www.rugbypass.com/news/south-african-born-no8-ross-vintcent-makes-italy-six-nations-squad/
https://www.unitedrugby.com/

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Post by TJ Sun 28 Jan 2024, 10:55 am

Benneton doing very well in the URC should be a boost for Italy.  Players getting used to winning and club combos working well together.  I really hope this is the year for Italy to kick on and win some games only please leave your A game at home for when you play Scotland Whistle Very Happy

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Post by bsando Sun 28 Jan 2024, 11:02 am

Knowing Italy they'll leave their best for last.

After reading up on their new coach and seeing how the old team operated I'm feeling optimistic that Italy will show better character this tournament. Wether that results in a win is another matter but I am almost certain they will play more consistently as a team. Let's see how they go!

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 30 Jan 2024, 2:08 pm

TJ wrote:Benneton doing very well in the URC should be a boost for Italy.  Players getting used to winning and club combos working well together.  I really hope this is the year for Italy to kick on and win some games only please leave your A game at home for when you play Scotland Whistle Very Happy

I think they have a fair chunk of foreign players but yeah it should help.

I heard that under Quesada Italy will play a less adventurous game with a greater focus on the set piece and forward play. Will be interesting to see how they set their stall out.

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Post by sensisball Mon 05 Feb 2024, 12:36 pm

It was interesting watching the energy in the Italian coaching box. Quesada is a very calm, composed character and this seems to have been transmitted through to the team, probably deliberately. Although there were some celebrations when particularly good work led to a penalty, on the whole celebrations were more muted than under previous regimes.
Not wasting energy on celebrations seemed to helped Italian concentration levels and reduced the number of unforced errors.
I wonder if they can keep it up for the next 4 games?

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Post by bsando Mon 05 Feb 2024, 6:08 pm

Yeah and good to see them kicking the ball more. The expansive rugby suits them but an all out expansive game is error prone and was leaking too many tries for Italy. Ireland will be tough but I think they’ll give France, Wales and Scotland a tough time of it.

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Post by BigGee Mon 05 Feb 2024, 6:25 pm

Italy started very well kn theif game, but faded away even before the end of the first half, they looked out on their feet going off at the break.

It is difficult going toe to toe for 80 mins in international rugby, Itsly are not the only team thst struggles with it (as we Scotland fans are aware).

There chsllenge this 6N may be to try and stay longer in the games. They gave the skills to pull off a win if they are within striking distance st the death. For most of their games, they are not unfortunately.

I am worried about Scotland going out there. They have taken us close enough these past few times and this will be a match they will fancy and may actually beleive they can win!





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Post by Lowlandbrit Sun 25 Feb 2024, 3:49 pm

If I can use this for the France - Italy match;
This is pretty shockingly poor so far. France have had the look all tournament of a team that should have been sent to 'do a Dupont' en masse. Italy are trying to build (again), but I'm not sure there's much to work with in this squad.

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Post by westisbest Sun 25 Feb 2024, 3:54 pm

Italy living dangerously in the first half. Great defence though. France with some sloppy play.

Great hands by Italy towards the end of the half.

Glad they got that pen. 10-3 at the break. France more clinical, could have been a lot more.

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Post by mountain man Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:06 pm

Wow red for Danty. But harsh but that's it

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Post by Heaf Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:09 pm

Italy need to calm down and stop giving away stupid pens

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Post by Heaf Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:38 pm

Nice try by Italy

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Post by Heaf Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:39 pm

Followed by a nice conversion - despite the annoying French whistling and booing

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:41 pm

Wow!  10 minutes left and we have Italy and France all tied at 13 each.

edit: and that's the way it ended. Italy had a pen after the clock went in the red. There was a lot of confusion at the kick and Garbisi hit the right upright. So close. Shame.


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Post by Heaf Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:43 pm

Not sure why that's a scrum - didn't look like the Italian player let go of the ball

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Post by Heaf Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:46 pm

What a time to lose their first line-out

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:50 pm

Brave but possibly a bit silly from France there.

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Post by Heaf Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:51 pm

Did France try to charge a pen?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:51 pm

Ouch.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:52 pm

Wow, what drama.

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Post by Heaf Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:52 pm

Should have let him kick again as France kept moving towards the kicker

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:52 pm

Heaf wrote:Did France try to charge a pen?

After it fell off the tee. They were lucky the ref didn't reset the shot clock.

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Post by Heaf Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:54 pm

And again after he reset the ball - one of the players had to pull another one back ...

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Post by tigertattie Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:55 pm

Thanks to some utterly Poopie french camera work you can’t see what happened.

I don’t think the French player was even 10m and he ran forward, possibly after the ball fell.

I’m really surprised that the ref didn’t allow the process to start again.
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Post by Yoda Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:55 pm

Wow what a match! Not sure Wales will be overly confident of a win versus Italy. Puts out struggle to beat them into perspective. Great for Italian rugby.

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Post by Heaf Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:56 pm

Ran forwards twice ... 2nd time just before the kick - one of the other players put their arm out to stop him but it must have put the kicker off.


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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 25 Feb 2024, 4:56 pm

Heaf wrote:And again after he reset the ball - one of the players had to pull another one back ...

It did look like one was losing his head a bit. They did look to be still when it was kicked.

Brilliant turnover from Zuliani.

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Post by Heaf Sun 25 Feb 2024, 5:02 pm

He's still moving just before the kicker starts his run (or based on the Ford interpretation ages after he starts his approach) - and where he stops doesn't look anything like 10m.

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Post by westisbest Sun 25 Feb 2024, 5:24 pm

Really unfortunate on Italy at the end. If the ball doesn’t fall over, Italy win.
They will obviously be disappointed, but can take heart going into the last 2 games.

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Post by Big Sun 25 Feb 2024, 8:00 pm

It's one of those games where I have really mixed feelings, as a former resident of Italy I'm pleased they have managed a draw against France - I'd have taken that before the game. However, gutted for Garbisi at the end there. Really not his fault, but I suspect he'll be blaming himself. I'm kind of sorry for Danty as well though, I'm not overly keen on red cards for what looked to be accidental head on head.

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Post by RDW Sun 25 Feb 2024, 9:22 pm

That last kick is an outrage. French water carrier on the pitch in front of the kicker. Players trying to charge down a penalty (!), not just once but twice.

Ref made an absolute mess of that and probably denied Italy the win. He should have blown the whistle stop the game, give the French a talking to and let him retake the kick.

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Post by TJ Sun 25 Feb 2024, 11:11 pm

What I want to know is :
Are Italy Scotland in disguise? Very Happy Wink

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Post by mountain man Yesterday at 2:04 pm

Jake Polledri retires age 28 due to injury. Real shame as he was superb at best.

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