It is an exciting time for the future of Italian rugby, as they continue to enjoy a 2018 that has brought impressive finishes at both the Under-20s Six Nations and the World Rugby U20 Championship in France.
The former saw them beat Wales and Scotland on the way to a fourth-place finish, whilst at the latter they finished second behind England in Pool B after wins over Argentina and Scotland, making the play-offs.
And this is something that captain Michele Lamaro, who currently plies his trade with Petrarca in the National Championship of Excellence, rightly feels is cause for celebration.
“It was a wonderful experience in France, as it had been last year,” he said.
“This year our goal was no longer to avoid relegation, but to qualify as second in our group, and repeat the result we achieved with Scotland in the Six Nations and beating Argentina, which we knew was possible.”
The flanker was quick to credit his teammates for the Azzurrini’s recent run of results, noting that the success hasn’t come without hard work.
“It came from a job done throughout the year,” he continued.
“From the work we started in July of last year all together and that then led us through the Six Nations, to the World Championships that we started in the best of ways, but that we have not finished very well.”
Defeat to rugby powerhouses Australia in the World Rugby U20 Championship play-offs meant that they finished eighth – equalling their best result at the tournament – and Lamaro believes that this is only the beginning for the young Italian side.
He added: “Surely this road is the right one, even the younger ones have learned something from this World Championship, and I am sure that next year they will be able to transmit what we have taught them this year.”