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Jacques Brunel to succeed Nick Mallett as Italy coach

Jacques Brunel
Brunel led Perpignan to the French title in 2009

Former France assistant coach Jacques Brunel is to become coach of Italy after the Rugby World Cup.

The 57-year-old will succeed Nick Mallett, whose contract expires after the tournament in New Zealand, held between 9 September and 23 October.

"I've thought about it for many weeks but this Italian offer is unique at my age," said Perpignan coach Brunel.

As assistant coach under Bernard Laporte, Brunel helped guide France to two World Cup semi-finals.

"It will certainly be the last [job] that I can take on. I want to seize this opportunity," added the Frenchman.


Mallett is due to step down from the post he has held since 2007, with Brunel set to sign a four-year contract which would take him up to the 2015 World Cup.

Brunel coached Perpignan to the French title in 2009 and to the Top 14 final last season, where they lost to Clermont Auvergne.

Jacques Delmas - former coach of Perigeux, Biaritz and Stade Francais - is being tipped as Brunel's replacement.

Meanwhile, Mallett has named a 24-man squad for the Azzurri's first two games of the Six Nations.

Fly-half Kristopher Burton and prop Ignacio Rouyet have both been called up while hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini and centre Gonzalo Garcia both return after missing the autumn Tests through injury.

Australia-born Burton, last capped in 2009, will compete with Luciano Orquera for the number 10 jersey, with Craig Gower ruled out of the tournament after knee surgery.

Flanker Mauro Bergamasco is also sidelined with a shoulder injury, but inspirational captain Sergio Parisse returns to the squad having missed last year's Six Nations through injury.

The squad includes 11 players from Treviso and five from Aironi, who both joined the Magners League this season. Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni is the only England-based player, while seven players - including four at Racing Metro - play in France.

Italy squad:

Forwards: Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers), Andrea Lo Cicero (Racing Metro), Salvatore Perugini (Aironi), Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, Leonardo Ghiraldini (both Treviso); Fabio Ongaro (Aironi); Santiago Dellape (Racing Metro), Carlo Antonio Del Fava, Quintin Geldenhuys (both Aironi), Robert Barbieri; Paul Derbyshire (both Treviso), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais), Alessandro Zanni (Treviso);

Backs: Pablo Canavosio (Aironi), Edoardo Gori, Kristopher Burton, Luke McLean (all Treviso), Luciano Orquera (Brive), Tommaso Benvenuti (Treviso), Mirco Bergamasco (Racing Metro), Gonzalo Canale (Clermont Auvergne), Gonzalo Garcia (Treviso), Andrea Masi (Racing Metro), Alberto Sgarbi (Treviso).

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see also
Italy's Gower hit by surgery blow
30 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Mallett joy at Italy league boost
24 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Mallett proud of Italy despite defeat
20 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union

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