CONFIRMED | Italy announce their new head coach - Ruck

CONFIRMED | Italy announce their new head coach

South African Franco Smith has been confirmed as head coach of Italy’s rugby team, the Italian rugby federation (FIR) announced on Saturday.

Former Cheetahs coach Smith, 47, took over on a interim basis last November after predecessor Conor O’Shea resigned despite his contract running through to the end of May 2020.

Smith will be supported by assistant coach Marius Goosen, with Giampiero De Carli in charge of forwards, Alessandro Troncon overseeing the backs, and Quintin Kruger and Giovanni Sanguin coordinating physical preparation.

RANKED | The 10 fastest players in the Premiership – including Bristol Bears new signings

Speed is key in modern rugby. Whether it be defenders recovering to win a last-ditch tackle or attackers hitting teams on the counter, we are constantly told that ‘there is no substitute for pace’.

Check out the top five from the Gallagher Premiership below…

10. Semi Radradra (Bristol Bears) – 19.08mph

9. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins) – 19.12mph

8. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby) – 19.95mph