The 'ideal' Italian Six Nations XV
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Italian rugby fans have voted for the ‘ideal’ Italy XV of the Six Nations, with just three current players making the cut.
Over five thousand people participated in the vote for the XV, with fans picking from a squad of fifty-five candidates from the one hundred and ninety players who, from February 5, 2000 to today, who have represented Italy in rugby’s oldest and most prestigious international tournament.
Head coach went to Pierre Berbizier, the French guru who led Italy between 2005 and 2007, guiding them to fourth place in the Six Nations 2007 thanks to an away victory over Scotland and a home win over Wales. It was a close call, with Berbizier earning 26.2 percent of the votes, beating off John Kirwan (22 percent) and Nick Mallett (20 percent).
Andrea Masi, MVP of the Six Nations 2011, grabbed the 15 jersey with 67.7 percent of the votes. He’s joined by modern-day boy wonder, Matteo Minozzi (40 percent) and the hulking Giovanbattista Venditti (23.1 percent) on the wings.
Grazie agli appassionati che hanno dato il proprio voto tramite la piattaforma #Fanize 💪
— Italrugby (@Federugby) May 16, 2020
Nearly 50 percent of the preferences for outside centre went to Michele Campagnaro (48.9 percent), while inside centre went to Mirco Bergamasco (23.1 percent). Sharpshooter Diego Dominguez sailed to the No.10 jersey with 69.7 percent votes, while inside him at 9 is another Italian in legend Alessandro Troncon (61.6 percent), the first Italian to break the 100 caps milestone.
It will surprise no one that Sergio Parisse is named at No.8 with 87.2 percent of the vote. It makes you wonder what the other 12.8 percent were thinking. At seven is the nearly equally legendary Mauro Bergamasco, who served Italy from 2000 to 2015. He bagged 49.4 percent of the votes, while Simone Favaro had to fight considerably harder for his place at blindside with 27.2 percent.
Captain of the unforgettable campaign of 2007, Marco Bortolami, garnered 57.3 percent of the votes and won the number 5 shirt, while Carlo Checchinato (18 percent) fought off Quintin Geldenhuys by three percentage points (15 percent).
The mighty and hairy Martin Castrogiovanni collected 86.8 percent, with Andrea Lo Cicero grabbing 56 percent of the votes at loosehead. while Leonardo Ghiraldini concluded the team at hooker with 57.5 pecent of the votes.
THE BEST ITALIAN SIX NATIONS XV
15 Andrea Masi (95 caps, 67,7%)
14 Matteo Minozzi (19 caps, 40%)
13 Michele Campagnaro (36 caps, 48,9%)
12 Mirco Bergamasco (89 caps, 23,1%)
11 Giovanbattista Venditti (44 caps, 23,1%)
10 Diego Dominguez (74 caps, 69,7%)
9 Alessandro Troncon (101 caps, 61,6%)
8 Sergio Parisse (142 caps, 87,2%)
7 Simone Favaro (36 caps, 27,2%)
6 Mauro Bergamasco (106 caps, 49,4%)
5 Marco Bortolami (112 caps, 57,3%)
4 Carlo Checchinato (83 caps, 18%)
3 Martin Castrogiovanni (119 caps, 86,8%)
2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (104 caps, 57,5%)
1 Andrea Lo Cicero (103 caps, 56%)