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Italy to move on from coach Kieran Crowley after World Cup

Kieran Crowley has looked like a shrewd appointment after Franco Smith started a quiet revolution in Italian rugby (Photo by Tullio Puglia - Federugby/Getty Images)

Kieran Crowley will leave his role as Italy head coach after the World Cup later this year, despite the New Zealand coach’s wish to extend his contract.


Former All Blacks fullback Crowley, who previously coached Canada at the 2015 World Cup, was appointed Italy coach in 2021 and guided the Six Nations minnows to a famous win in Wales to end a 36-game losing streak in the competition.

He then oversaw Italy’s historic first victory over Australia in November last year. Crowley has a record of six wins and 13 defeats with Italy.

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“Kieran’s time with Italian rugby is very positive. He has raised a group of boys, making them into men and players of high international level, and for this we will be eternally grateful to him,” the Italian federation (FIR) president Marzio Innocenti said while announcing Crowley’s departure.


But Crowley said he would have liked to be involved with the Italy team for the next World Cup cycle as well.

“I regret FIR’s decision not to extend my contract. We have a young team that has gained good experience over the past year, with performances that have shown improvement in many areas,” he said.

“With a World Cup and four more years of international matches, we will have a group with an average of 50 to 60 caps, an exciting prospect. Unfortunately, I will not be part of this journey.


“I will be 100 per cent committed along with our staff to prepare this group of players (for the World Cup) in the best way possible.”

The World Cup kicks off on September 8. Italy are in Pool A along with New Zealand, hosts France, Uruguay and Namibia.


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finn 395 days ago

Why? This seems very surprising from the FIR

Willie 396 days ago

Crowley would make a good coach for a forward-thinking Super franchise.

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William 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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