Sport / Rugby

Sport Staff
1 minute read
1 Feb 2020
1:19 pm

WATCH: Like a boss! Former Springbok coach impresses with fluent Italian skills

Sport Staff

Franco Smith, who was Allister Coetzee's assistant in 2017 and highly successful as Cheetahs coach, is nowadays mentoring the Azzurri.

Coach Franco Smith and captain Luca Bigi of Italy pose with the Six Nations Trophy during the Guinness Six Nations Launch at Tobacco Dock on January 22, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Franco Smith’s appointment as the interim head coach of Italy’s national rugby team certainly won’t be inconvenienced by the language barrier.

The former Springbok assistant coach and highly successful mentor of the Cheetahs showed off some seamless verbal skill during his media conference before his side’s Six Nations opener against Wales on Saturday afternoon.

Not once did it sound as if the 47-year-old was rusty or uncertain about what to say.

To be honest though, Smith is very much familiar with the country, having played for local clubs Bologna and Treviso between 2002 and 2006, before coaching Treviso for another six years between 2007 and 2013.

Yet his time back in South Africa clearly hasn’t affected him negatively.

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