ROVIGO – After only one and a half year’s experience Franco Smith As a high level director of the Italian Rugby Federation it seems he has already reached the end of the line. The 50-year-old South African, after playing and coaching in Treviso for years after adopting Treviso, where he lives, is expected to soon step down and become a coach. Glasgow Warriors, rivals Benetton and Zebre in the United Rugby Championship. The Scots sacked Danny Wilson on 6 June. The confirmation, after the rumors have circulated, comes directly from the president of Fira Marzio Innocenti: «The thing is not yet certain, but it is possible – they say – I am working closely with Mark Dodson, the managing director of the Scottish federation. I will find a solution if Franco will be elected. Glagosw is a federal franchise.’
The solution sought is contractual and economic in nature, not technical. « Smith has an existing contract with us – Innocenti explains To leave early, he would have to give six months’ notice. But I understand your position. Franco has always said that he wants to become a coach even after his experience as Italy’s coach. He feels too young for non-territorial technical work. When he received the offer he rightly asked me if he could look into it and now, if he decides to accept it, we will find a way to allow him, given the excellent relationship we have with the Scottish Federation. Will take.”
From a technical point of view, the loss of the senior manager does not concern Innocenti. The Italian job begun by Smith would, as he himself said, continue along two lines. Activity of smaller national teams (Italia A and Emergencies) to help players grow. Depth can be reached with at least 5 athletes with blue perspective for each role. How? “from college. In the first phase everyone will contribute, then we will see whether to resort to a single figure – The federal president does not go further in explanation – In September/October, Italy A will participate in the Toyota Cup in South Africa, South Africa with 4 teams African and 2 Irish. The other two competitions Smith was working on, the Intercontinental Shield and Rugby Europe, are currently lacking interest. Instead we will play another match against Spain and we will start links with Japan, Chile, Uruguay, Namibia to set up some challenges in the pre-world window.
The case of Pavanello and Ioane
For now, Smith will not be replaced by another Treviso native, Benetton general manager Antonio Pavanello, as the club and its president Amerino Jatta feared. «Antonio is one of the quality managers of Italian rugby – Innocenti clarifies – sooner or later he will reach the federation, but not now, suddenly, once the season starts, putting Benetton in trouble. He will also help in higher level collegiate management, but he will be there.»
Speaking of Benetton, Innocenti’s closing is on the Monty Ioane case. The 27-year-old winger, who is under contract with Treviso, did not attend the meeting. He remained in Australia due to family problems with his wife, who does not want to return to Europe. “The story belongs to him and Benetton, we can only hope it is resolved in a positive way with autumn testing, the 6 Nations and the World Cup ahead.”
Coffee enthusiast. Travel scholar. Infuriatingly humble zombie fanatic. Thinker. Professional twitter evangelist.