An emotional Tommaso Menoncello hopes his historic try for Italy in Round 1 of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations is the first of many.
The Azzurri may have gone down 37-10 to France in their encounter in Paris but they led Les Bleus midway through the first half after 19-year-old Menoncello had a debut to remember by becoming the youngest scorer in the Championship for 55 years.
After France full-back Melvyn Jaminet spilt a high ball, Federico Ruzza carried deep into the 22 and, a couple of phases later, Paolo Garbisi’s perfect cross-field kick was collected by Menoncello who somehow kept his toes in play before dotting down in the corner.
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It was a demonstration of both athleticism and the ability to retain poise under pressure by the teenager, who was ecstatic to notch such a notable try and is keen to use it as a springboard.
“Scoring in my first match has been really emotional,” he said. “In the moment I saw the cross-kick coming I though about so many things: how to catch the ball, how not to lose it.
“I dedicate this try to my family, my U20 team-mates, and everyone who has allowed me to be here.
“For sure this is just a starting point for me and I really hope that my career with Italy will be really long.
“I’m truly happy for having scored a try but disappointed with the final result.”
Italy will look to bounce back from their Round 1 defeat when they host England in Rome next weekend – a side they have never beaten in their history but who are coming off a tough Round 1 defeat of their own against Scotland.