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Italy star Bisegni makes ‘difficult choice’ to announce international retirement

Italy star Bisegni makes ‘difficult choice’ to announce international retirement

Italy star Bisegni makes ‘difficult choice’ to announce international retirement

Franco Smith has praised Giulio Bisegni’s character after the Italy centre announced his international retirement ahead of the start of the Autumn Nations Cup.

The 28-year-old Zebre centre has won 16 caps for his country over the last five years, making his debut against England at Twickenham in the 2015 Six Nations Championship.

His last cap came in Italy’s defeat to Scotland in Rome in the 2020 Six Nations.

Smith is currently preparing his side ahead of their opening match of the Autumn Nations Cup against Scotland and said Bisegni will be missed as a person as well as a player.

“I respect Giulio’s choice who, as in every juncture of his stay in the Azzurri team under my management, turns out to be a deeply mature person,” said Smith.

“Life presents us with choices to face every day, often hard. I had the pleasure of working with a man, before a player, who immediately made himself available to the technical staff, contributing, together with the group of leaders, to the growth of this group. 

“I wish Giulio to achieve all the goals he has set in his private life.”

Speaking about his decision to bring an end to his international career, Bisegni reflected on his first cap and said the time is right for him to focus more on his life away from the pitch.

“At the age of 28, I feel I have given everything I could to the Italy jersey and today the priorities are my private life, Zebre and the completion of my university career,” he said.

“It was a difficult choice but reasoned up to the last moment. I perfectly remember every moment of my debut in Twickenham on February 14, 2015. 

“Being 23 years old in the temple of Rugby against one of the strongest teams in the world does not happen every day. I deeply loved every day spent in the blue shirt.

“I am grateful for all the opportunities that have been granted to me. The environment of the national team allowed me to live experiences from a human and professional point of view that will remain an indelible memory.

“I met people who over time became friends and realised the dream of participating in a World Cup. In rugby, as in life, every choice can condition your action to reach the goal: a pass, an offload, a turnover.

“I will be the first fan of the Azzurri and I am proud to have been part of this group that I am sure over time will reap the fruits of the hard work that is done day after day. 

“I thank all the players and members of the staff of the national team for the support they have given me from the first to the last day of the meeting together.”

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