Leicester Tigers legend Martin Castrogiovanni has been earmarked for a shock return to Welford Road by a report in The Rugby Paper today.
The Italian legend could be set to replace scrum coach Boris Stankovich, who will leave the club ahead of the new 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership season.
Castrogiovanni, who made more than 100 appearances for Tigers during a seven-year playing stint, could return either full-time or on a consultancy basis.
Formerly an Argentina Under-19 and Under-21 international, he played his early rugby with Atletico Estudiantes in Argentina before moving to Italian side Calvisano in 2001. He spent five years with them before being snapped up by the Leicester Tigers in 2006.
He made an immediate impact in English rugby’s top flight and was named Guinness Premiership Player of the Year at the end of his debut season – in the process becoming the first prop and Italian to scoop the honour.
An ever-present with Italy in two Rugby World Cups, he made his international debut against New Zealand in 2002 and notched up his 50th Test cap during the Six Nations in 2008. He scored a hat-trick of tries against Japan in 2004 and was the Azzurri’s top try-scorer in the 2008 Six Nations with three scores.
On the domestic stage, he acquired cult status at Welford Road and a reputation as one of the league’s most fearsome props. Castrogiovanni played a key role in the Tigers’ dominance of the England domestic scene in the naughties helping them to Premiership titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
DID YOU KNOW?
- In 2011, after much speculation about a move from Leicester to France, he declared “money isn’t everything” and stayed
- He is good friends with football superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović
- Castrogiovanni is the co-owner of an Italian restaurant in Leicester
- He speaks four languages: his native Spanish, Italian, English and French
- He owns more than seven dogs
LIST | Six times rugby players seriously MESSED up
Here are six times rugby players and coaches seriously messed up…
1 Martin Castrogiovanni in Vegas, 2016
Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni had been suspended by his club Racing 92 after pictures of him partying in Las Vegas surfaced on social media with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The 34-year-old had told Racing that he could not play in their Champions Cup semi-final clash with Leicester Tigers as he had a family matter to attend to in Argentina. Naughty boy.