By 'Arry Azzurri
January 11 2012
The slow process of Italy acclimatising to the Six Nations shows sporadic signs of making significant progress every season, and the Azzurri will be hoping for more of the same in 2012 under new coach Jacques Brunel.
The former Perpignan boss takes over from Nick Mallett and will be hoping to make as much progress as his predecessor did.
And one man who will be doing all he can to ensure that happens is veteran Mauro Bergamasco, who missed the 2011 Six Nations through injury but is raring to go this time.
Italy’s third most capped player, Bergamasco says: “We were disappointed with the World Cup, we played a really good first half against Australia but Ireland’s win against them made things difficult, and it didn’t work out for us.
“We know we can play better, and I think we will be better in the Six Nations.
“Each coach we have brings something different.
“When Pierre Berbizier came in he brought us a lot of discipline which I think we really needed.
“Nick Mallett was able to then build on that and JacquesBrunel will offer something different again.”
Whether that will be enough to turn Italy into more than a team fighting to avoid the wooden spoon, only time will tell.