Flying Italian Beatrice Rigoni cannot wait to throw herself headfirst into the inaugural TikTok Women’s Six Nations as she approaches a momentous personal milestone.
Rigoni has 49 caps to her name for Le Azzurre and is set to bring up her half-century against France in Round 1 on what will be an emotional occasion for the utility back.
Italy finished fourth last year’s shortened format, losing the third/fourth play-off 25-5 to Ireland but come into this year’s Championship with a higher finish in their sights after beating Spain 34-10 in their last competitive outing.
“We’re all looking forward to this Championship, it’s been a long time coming and we’re really looking forward to playing with such high-level teams,” said Rigoni, 26.
“Every time we get on the field, we want to win. Whatever happens, happens, and right now our goal is to give our best performance and that will be more important than the actual result.”
Italy’s first match of the Championship sees them take on France, who defeated world champions New Zealand in back-to-back autumn internationals in November.
Rigoni knows just how challenging a trip to Grenoble’s Stade des Alpes to face Les Bleues will be but admits she revels in taking to the field for the tough games.
She added: “It’s going to be a challenging game without a doubt, it’s going to be an uphill start to the Championship for us.
“France are a very good team, a very strong team, and it will be a difficult game, there’s no denying it.
“I’m thinking in terms of their fan base that will also have a part to play but these are the types of games we love playing in.”
This year’s Championship welcomes social media giants TikTok as the Women’s Six Nations’ first title sponsor with the aim of showcasing the heroes of women’s rugby far and wide.
Rigoni believes it is an exciting development which will hopefully further boost the profile of the women’s game in what is a huge year for the sport with the World Cup in New Zealand also taking place in October.
The TikTok Women’s Six Nations will take place during its own dedicated window, after the conclusion of the men’s and Under-20s Championships, and Rigoni is excited to take centre stage in front of packed-out stadiums once again.
“It’s absolutely incredible to have a sponsor like TikTok for the Women’s Championship, I’m probably not the best person at using it, but I will try to get better I promise,” she joked.
“It certainly provides us with that extra boost. Having fans there watching us play definitely pushes us to play even better so that will be very important for us.
“That [dedicated window] provides us with more visibility that’s for sure, because all the attention will finally be on us, which comes with its risks as well because we’re put in the spotlight, however we’ll have an opportunity to prove what we can do.”