Rugby: Italy quietly moves into the Quesada era |  TV5MONDE

Rugby: Italy quietly moves into the Quesada era | TV5MONDE

There will be no revolution, in management or style of play: Argentine Gonzalo Quesada, the new coach of Italy, wants to “preserve the basics”, he stressed on Tuesday in Rome during his official presentation.

Since his appointment as president of the Italian national team on June 16, Quesada has worked hard: he took Italian lessons, watched all the matches before and during the World Cup for his new team and found “one hundred and fifty ideas” but the old one retained the Argentine international (38 caps), who until June as director of the Stade de France (2013-2017 and 2020-2023), with all these things to himself.

He is waiting to meet his staff, which will be the same as his predecessor, New Zealander Kieran Crawley, and his players to launch “deep work to reflect on our shared vision, our identity and our culture,” – he explained to Agence France-Presse.

The new coach of the Azzurri (49 years old) is responsible for a team that “has progressed over the past two years, and is ranked 11th in the world, and which has qualified for the next World Cup, but is still suffering after two very negative defeats against it.” New Zealand (96-17, editor’s note) and France (60-7, editor’s note),” summed up the president of the Italian Federation, Marzio Innocenti.

The first Argentine

The Italian rugby president keeps his feet on the ground: “He doesn’t have to make us win the Six Nations, he doesn’t have to beat France, Ireland, South Africa or New Zealand,” he said, without wanting to reveal whether the results were targets He was appointed to Quesada, under contract until World Cup 2027.

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The first Argentine at the helm of the Italian XV approaches his new task with “a great deal of humility”: “I have nothing to learn in Italian rugby, it is up to me to discover their culture.”

But Quesada, who was in charge of the Blues from 2008 to 2011 and then the Argentine Pumas in 2018, will have to move quickly.

In order to prepare for the first match, next February 3, against England in Rome on the first day of the 2024 Six Nations Championship, he will have only two days with his players. “That’s why I have to go to the basics and rely a lot on what they have done so far,” he insisted.

Offensive philosophy

Gonzalo Quesada faces the press on October 31, 2023 in Rome. “We have to maintain the basics,” says the new Argentine coach of the Italian team. “It is a team that loves to attack, that loves to keep the ball. We have to maintain this attitude but we also have to do deep work.”

Agence France-Presse/Archive

“We have to maintain the fundamentals, it is a team that loves to attack, that loves to keep the ball. We have to maintain that attitude but we also have to do a comprehensive job when we come out of camp, in our defense, and in the invasion of our discipline,” he continued.

With high-potential players like Paolo Garbisi and winger/fullback Ange Capuzzo, he knows Italy can deliver, as they showed by beating Wales in the 2022 tournament, as well as Australia and Samoa in the 2022 autumn tour. .

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“We will then be able to develop this attack that satisfies these players and which I also like. This is my philosophy everywhere I have been even if, last season, at the French stadium, we adapted to the team and what was happening in the ‘Top 14’,” the coach insisted. , who was crowned champion of France in 2015.

Quesada will settle near Milan to be close to the two federal clubs, Parma and Treviso, and he does not doubt for a moment that his adaptation will be “easy.”

He concluded: “I spent half my life in Argentina, and the other in France. I humbly hope that I can leave a small mark in the history of this Italian team.”

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