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Fischetti: There is a desire to create something important

Fischetti: There is a desire to create something important

Fischetti: There is a desire to create something important

Danilo Fischetti believes Italy’s young squad are unified behind the desire to create something special as they prepare to travel to Paris to face France in the Autumn Nations Cup.

The 22-year-old is one of a host of new players being given an opportunity to shine by Franco Smith this autumn, having only made his debut against Wales in February.

Fischetti has featured six times in total for the Azzurri, with his last run out coming in his country’s defeat to Scotland in Round One of the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup.

And having had their second contest against Fiji cancelled, the prop says the players are ready and raring to go in their last Group B encounter with Les Bleus on Saturday.

“There is a lot of energy in the group and desire to create something important,” he said.

“We work a lot, starting from the early morning until the afternoon between training and meetings. It is a philosophy that I really like and we all feel an integral part of the project.

“The average age of the team is 25 and obviously for me it is a positive side, but it is also positive for the present and the future of the team.”

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Italy are currently third in Group B following their 28-17 defeat to Scotland on the opening weekend but victory over Les Bleus could see them leapfrog their hosts.

But while France are one of the form teams in world rugby right now, Fischetti sees no reason why Italy can’t cause an upset – insisting they go into every game with only result in their mind.

“In every game we always go out on the pitch to win and I would be surprised to see a different approach or mentality in other players,” Fischetti added.

“When we wear the national team jersey, the responsibilities are manifold: from our teammates, through the entire rugby movement to the fans.

“There is pride but awareness that what we are doing is of enormous importance and we want to do it in the best way.”

Leonardo Ghiraldini made his long-awaited return for Italy last time out against Scotland, winning his 105th cap in the process, having been out of action with a knee injury since 2019.

He had recovered to be picked for last year’s Rugby World Cup but a farewell appearance off the bench in Italy’s pool game with New Zealand was cancelled by Typhoon Hagibis.

The 35-year-old has been talking about what motivated him to return for Italy in the Autumn Nations Cup, revealing he still had the fire inside him to compete at the highest level.

“In my career I have always sought a balance that did not exalt me ​​too much in the positive moments but at the same time did not throw me down in the difficult moments,” he said.

“What I can control is in my hands and I have to develop it in the best possible way. Anything that is beyond my control is something that must be accepted and I have to live with it.

“In this case, what I could do is be ready. It wasn’t easy, but the fire I had inside of still being able to demonstrate what I can do helped me – along with my family – to move forward.

“I woke up at six in the morning, I trained alone by placing the cones in the middle of the field. I would never have accepted a return to high-level rugby in less than optimal conditions.”

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