Kieran Crowley has been appointed as Italy coach

Forum » Rugby » Kieran Crowley has been appointed as Italy coach

May 19, 2021, 18:56

So many have tried to lift the level of rugby with Azzuris in past including our own coach, Nic Mallett and French coach, Brunel.without much success. Crowley has replaced Franco Smith who is now a high performance coach of the same nation at every level.

It has always been a bit of a puzzle why Italy with talented players like Sergio Parisse and others have been wooden spooners.

Will Kieran, who coached the WC winning AB's in 1987 be able to make a difference...I've got a feeling he might.

Jeremy Thomson once told me he enjoyed playing in Italy...that was quite a long time ago.

I would like to see Italy improve...Georgia on the otherhand have overtaken them and I expect the Lelos to be the most progressive developing new comer...but I like the Italians and wish them better things in this game.

May 19, 2021, 19:39

Who? :D

May 19, 2021, 23:30

You get two kinds of tier two nations: those with good backplay and weak forward play; poor backplay and good forward play. Some sides break the mould every so often, like Romania for a time in the 90s. Italy reach points of looking like they are going to turn a corner but can't sustain it. 

May 20, 2021, 00:37

There is talk of dropping Italy in the 6 nations for Georgia, or some type of play-off between these 2 countries. 

So Italy must be feeling the pressure, and Franco was a casualty. 

May 20, 2021, 05:38

Yes, this appears to be true from what I've read on the Tier 2 rugby forum which often gives light to what is happening in ENC 1 (Rugby Europe) competitions in which Georgia, Russia, Romania,Spain, Portugal and Belgium compete. It's quite a good forum with knowledgeable participants on what is happening in rugby with lower tier nations. Has a lot of fans from virtually every corner in the world including, NZ, Oz, USA, Italy and Br Isles.

They appear to have this view...they feel Georgia deserves it and actually so do I.

Italy better pull their socks up or I think it must's only fair.

It was also speculated too that the 6 Nations should be changed to 7 Nations but others feel it's impractical.

I do hope World Rugby continues to improve and uplift rugby's good for the game itself and although other nations on the fringes feel threatened that should not be an improve or else.

I find watching rugby developing else where  interesting. It's a great game.that one wants to share. Others don't and have a rather insular attitude.

May 20, 2021, 09:37

Seb, Crowley has never coached the ABs and certainly not at the RWC in 1987 when he was 26 years old! Not sure who fed you that info....

May 20, 2021, 09:44

Yes , my error, I'm sorry, I got it mixed up, he was a player in that series and not coach.

SA did not participate in that WC, I think it was the first RWC because of politics. If I remember correctly (it was such a long time ago) the final was with France and the AB's won quite comfortably.

"Crowley, who won the World Cup as a player with the All Blacks in 1987, has been in charge of Italian club Benetton since 2016."

May 20, 2021, 09:45

moolaa, Tit's knowledge of rugby is at a level somewhere between that of Omlett and Ou Maaik.

Always liked Crowley as a player and I still remember him from the infamous Cavaliers tour.

May 20, 2021, 10:06

You flatter me Keybord "Warrior", Mikes and Organhuffers knowledge is far better, just a little bit  obscure.sometimes I think.

 I don't remember things so far back, only snippets.

May 20, 2021, 11:39

Well, most of the rugby is played in the  north of Italy. Not sure they have  the player pool.

Mallet  was once  said that  the Italians still need coaching when the kids to the test team. They simply don't have the basic skills to make it as a professional  player. 

Who would remember that disaster when Mallet tried to play Bergomasto at scrumhalf. A retreaded flank that he thought could do the job at  9. It was probably one of his biggest flops  ever. 

No  one ever brings that up when the talk about Mallet. 

But not sure about Franco either. He  just seem  to flop from failure to another. Who would   forget how woeful  the boks were under him, coetzee  and Brendan Venter. Those guys were clueless.  

Not sure how he is going to kick life into Rugby in Italy. 

But hope the Azure can  get back up to the top and push  the likes of Scotland, Wales  or even the French

May 20, 2021, 13:24

The idea that Georgia might replace Italy in the 6 Nations has been around for years but its a non runner. Anytime Italy play Georgia they beat them and none of the other nations fans want to travel to Tbilisi for a game, Rome is a much preferred detestation.  A 7th nation is unlikely either as the preferred option is to be able to have all teams play on the same weekends with no by weeks for any team. The rugby calendar is already contested enough with extending the 6 Nations another few weeks.

Kieran Crowley did well with Benetton considering the resources he had. Took them to the Pro 14 play offs about two years back and Benetton picked up their first win the Champions Cup as well being generally very competitive. However the last Pro 14 season was a disaster for them not picking up a single win. Hilariously they are top of the Northern Pro 14 Rainbow Cup at the moment though, mostly down to having to play Zebre the weakest or second weakest team in the competition twice, though in fairness they beat Glasgow and also picked up a win in the Challenge Cup. Would be so funny if they end up winning it and have to play the winner of Southern Rainbow Cup.

May 20, 2021, 13:59

Stav not sure why Georgia's capital, Tbilisi is unpopular designation for rugby. It's a rather quaint and attractive city and superb food. I went there about 20 years ago and really enjoyed it. It's rather half eastern and western and people very friendly and hospitable.

Nothing wrong with stadium either. They are fanatical about rugby and stadiums are usually full when there's internationals. Rugby is their second sport, wrestling being the most popular...this is why they make such good front rowers no doubt.

The under 20 world championships were played there and it went down quite well, never heard any complaints.

As for replacing Italy with Georgia for 6N should not be prejudiced if indeed Georgia starts beating Italy in the future.

I feel Georgia has to move 2 notches up to get recognised and not one odd victory.

Don't you feel the same...incidently they very nearly clipped Ireland in Bordeaux in 2007. WC Gave Ireland one hell of a scare.

May 20, 2021, 14:25


I have nothing against Tbilisi but its up against Rome, aka the enteral city. Its also another 2-3 hours flying time from the UK and Ireland.

Yeah if Georgia can improve it would be good for rugby on the whole but as it stands there is no indication they would be any more competitive than Italy would be.

As for the 2007 WC, yeah the gave Ireland a scare but was more to do with Ireland under performing through out the WC that year as it was Georgia being particularly good.

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