Marzio Innocenti has been elected as the new president of the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) to replace the outgoing Alfredo Gavazzi.
Gavazzi had held the role since 2012 but at the General Assembly meeting in Rome, Innocenti won a three-way election to take over the role.
The 62-year-old received 56% of the votes on the first ballot with Paolo Vaccari garnering 40% and Gavazzi 3%.
As a player, Innocenti won 42 caps for Italy between 1981 and 1988 and captained the Azzurri on 20 occasions – including at the 1987 World Cup, where he played all three games and scored one of his two international tries, against Argentina.
A back-rower, he also won four league titles at domestic level playing for Petrarca, having began his career with Livorno.
Upon retirement from rugby, he earned a degree in medicine and started a practice as an otorhinolaryngologist – a doctor who specialises in head and neck conditions.
Innocenti also moved into coaching, leading CUS Padova to three promotions and into Serie A1 (the top tier of Italian club rugby) for the first time in their history in the 1990s.
He was elected to the board of the FIR in 2000 and ran for president in both 2004 and 2016 – being defeated by the incumbent, Giancarlo Dondi and then Gavazzi, on both occasions.
Since 2013, Innocenti has been president of the Venetia regional committee of the FIR and will now become the 21st president in the federation’s history.