The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Twelve months ago Nick Mallett’s four-year stay at the Italian helm came to an end with a 36-6 defeat to Ireland which dashed their hopes of a first ever World Cup quarter final.
But Italy avoided their fifth consecutive RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon last season with victory over Scotland and secured wins over Canada and the USA in June, although they lost to Argentina.
Brunel’s side now face home games with Tonga, New Zealand and Australia next month, and he believes they have turned a corner after their World Cup heartbreak.
“The analysis I make is that we turned our back on a difficult year and have made good progress,” said Brunel.
“Our players had to face a change in coaching and the traditionally complicated post-World Cup year but they did it quite nicely.
“Now we have to kick off the new season in style because we have all the qualities to make Italians proud of their national rugby team.
“We played eight games, winning three and wasting at least a couple more wins against England in Rome and Argentina in San Juan. We simply need to stop wasting chances.
“This season we have played only minutes of what we have been working at in training since last November.
“We need to up our game and support the game-plan for the entire 80 minutes of play. This must be our mission for the next six months.
“Kicking has been a problem for us from the beginning until the end. Our lack of accuracy when taking penalties cost us some wins and the tactical kicking game is a weapon we wanted to use but we’ve never been able to explore.
“We now urgently need to address those two crucial components of modern rugby and we started discussing the steps we need to take with players and coaches.”