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Italian Coach To Leave
Posted Apr 28, 2011 by Shaun Edwards
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In a move that won’t shock many involved in the rugby world, the Italian rugby federation have officially confirmed that they will not renew the contract of their current coach Nick Mallett following the conclusion of the autumn’s World Cup. With a record of six wins in thirty six games, it is not hard to see why many felt the change was needed.
The RIF released a statement stating that ‘[The decision is] due to previous experience of how a relationship between a coach and the national team that lasts more than four years might not produce the expected results.’
Whilst no official replacement has been announced, there are many rumours circulating that Jacques Prunel – current coach of Perpignan – is the favourite to take over the role once Mallett departs.
Mallett’s reign was a marginal improvement on the country’s previous six nations record of five wins and one draw in 40 games (Mallett’s record was three wins in twenty), and although they again received the wooden spoon this year, he did lead them to their most famous win so far, a 22-21 win over France in Rome. It could have been argued that the campaign this year was in itself affected by the coaching issue, with various rumours flying around that Mallett would be leaving the role soon.
Under the coach, Italy also recorded wins over Samoa, Fiji and Argentina in other matches. The RIF will likely confirm his successor soon, with the team due to fly out to the World Cup in the next three months.