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Italy name Michele Lamaro as their new captain

By Paul Smith
Michele Lamaro /Getty Images

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Benetton Rugby back-rower Michele Lamaro has been named as Italy’s new captain.

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Head coach Kieran Crowley announced the appointment of the 23-year-old who has only seven caps to his name at a players’ meeting in Verona.

Lamaro, who is in his fourth season with the Treviso-based outfit, became his club’s co-captain last July having previously led his country at U17, U18 and U19 levels.

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The flanker, who made his full international debut last November, becomes one of the Azzurri’s youngest leaders and follows in the footsteps of a number of previous back-rowers – including the legendary Sergio Parisse – who have worn the captain’s armband.

Lamaro will lead the side for the first time on Saturday November 6 when the All Blacks visit Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

Crowley said Lamaro’s leadership skills and experience were important factors in his appointment to replace Luca Bigi.

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“We have a group of very good young players who made their debut in the national team not too far from each other,” he said.

“The choice fell to one who showed great growth from a technical and leadership point of view and who, after the FIR youth selections, from this season will also lead one of the two federal franchises.

“I want to thank Luca Bigi for the approach he had and for the work done as captain. He will continue to be an important part of the leaders group from now on.”

Lamaro said he is proud to receive the role and pointed to the evolution in captaincy style which has taken place.

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“It is a great pride for me to receive the rank of captain,” he said. “I have had illustrious predecessors in this role and will do my best to help Italy achieve its goals.

“The role of the captain has changed over time. He has gone from a unique figure to one of a group of experienced players who support the management of the team. I think being able to have more points of reference for all team members is a fundamental aspect of team sport.”

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