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The first victim for how Italy played that day, Tebaldi was hauled off with the score at 22-0 and then had to watch as his replacement, Pablo Canavosio, spearhead a small resurgence, scoring a classic scrum-half’s try in the process.
“That was my worst match for the national team,” said Tebaldi. “[Nick] Mallett changed me after 30 minutes – It was embarrassing for me in front of 80,000 people.
“If, if, I return to the team and play against France this Six Nations it will be a difficult night and day before but I have learnt and improved my game since then.
“Now I don’t let my head go down, if I enter quicksand in a game I used to sink further in, but I can climb out of it now.”
Nick Mallett plucked Tebaldi out of the Italian Top 10 in 2009, awarding him his first cap against Australia on the summer tour and made him his number one scrum-half through the following autumn internationals and Six Nations.
After that French game, Canavosio, Eduardo Gori and Fabio Semenzato slowly edged ahead of Tebaldi in the pecking order.
But the inevitable slate wiping and different ideas that new coaches bring could mean Tebaldi will add to his 14 caps, under the new Italy head coach Jacques Brunel, sooner rather than later.
Tebaldi added: “Mallett thought physically and prioritised strength – absolutely different to Jacques. He is French and has a typical French philosophy.
“I knew about him a bit before from speaking to Julien Laharrague at Aironi. He said Jacques at Perpignan used to drink with the players, except sometimes if they lost and that he understands when players try hard and try to improve.
“I’ve seen this so far in the two training camps. He’s very friendly and I think he likes the young guys with a positive attitude.”
On current form Tebaldi stands a fair chance of getting a shot at redemption when Italy play France on February 4. His half back partnership at Aironi with fellow Azzurro Luciano Orquera looks balanced and their dismantling of Treviso before Christmas must stand them both in good stead for selection.
Tebaldi however is more cautious, adding: “I don’t think it is the case that if me and Luciano play well together we will be picked together for the national team.
“The key is to play well every week, and better than the opposite nine.”