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Wed 19 May 2021 | 01:42

Franco Smith no longer Italy head coach

Franco Smith no longer Italy head coach
Wed 19 May 2021 | 01:42
Franco Smith no longer Italy head coach
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NEWS: Italy’s new head coach has been revealed.

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On Wednesday it was announced that New Zealander Kieran Crowley will take over from Franco Smith.

Smith, who took charge of Italy after the 2019 World Cup, will move into a new role as the head of high performance, overseeing rugby at every level in Italy.

Crowley, who won the World Cup as a player with the All Blacks in 1987, has been in charge of Italian club Benetton since 2016.

He has served as a selector for the All Blacks from 2002 to 2003. He has also coached the New Zealand Under-19s to World Championship success in Ireland in 2007.

The following year he became the coach of Canada’s national team.

After eight years with Canada, Crowley travelled to Italy to take over at Benetton.

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He led the Italian club to an historic first play-off appearance in the Pro14 in 2019.

“I’m honoured that the FIR [Italian Rugby Federation] have given me the opportunity to lead Italy to the next World Cup,” said Crowley.

“In the five years with Benetton Rugby, I’ve been able to learn and understand the country and its rugby culture, an understanding which I cannot wait to develop as head coach of the national team.

“We have a talented young generation who have recently had their chance at international level and in the Pro14 and have all the quality necessary to, along with the more experienced members of the squad with whom we will work, the spine of the Italy team for the next cycle.”

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Franco Smith no longer Italy head coach - italy | Rugby365