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Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Italy consider Bergamasco switch

Italy flanker Mauro Bergamasco
Bergamasco has also played for Italy on the wing

Italy are considering moving star flanker Mauro Bergamasco to scrum-half for their RBS Six Nations campaign.

The position has been a problem since Alessandro Troncon, now part of the Azzurri's coaching team, retired after the 2007 World Cup.

Coach Nick Mallett said the 29-year-old Stade Francais player is being tried there in training.

"He has got the self-confidence, charisma and physical ability [to play at scrum-half]," Mallett said.

"He just wants to play. He is our best open-side flanker by far, but we have more resources there.

I think you need more physicality at scrum-half

Nick Mallett
"Pablo Canavosio has the spot at the moment, but I haven't completely thrown the idea of Mauro Bergamasco out of the window yet.

"We know the best players in Italy and it's just a question of trying to fit them into the right positions.

"As usual we have a very good tight five and a good pack of forwards and the perennial problem is settling on a good half-back combination.

"I think you need more physicality at scrum-half. I'm not sure we'll introduce Mauro in the Six Nations, but we've been working with him on it."

The versatile Bergamasco has previously played on the wing for Italy.

Simon Picone and Pietro Travagli are injured and Canavosio also has a knock, although he should be fit for Italy's Six Nations opener against England at Twickenham on 7 February.

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see also
RBS agrees 20m Six Nations deal
28 Jan 09 |  Rugby Union

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