Luca Bigi knows Italy are entering a new era and the hooker believes Franco Smith’s influence can help propel them to Guinness Six Nations glory.
The Azzurri are one of four teams in the Championship to have appointed a new head coach, with South African Smith assuming responsibilities on an interim basis following a successful spell at Guinness PRO14 side Toyota Cheetahs.
Italy travel to Cardiff first up to kick off their 2020 campaign against Wales, with Bigi also preparing for his maiden test in a leadership role after taking over as captain from Sergio Parisse at the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup.
And the No.2 knows just how special the Guinness Six Nations is, hailing Smith’s impact since his arrival. He is also acutely aware of the honour of captaining his side at Rugby’s Greatest Championship.