Italy find themselves in a tricky situation where they need time to give their young players experience but face urgency to get results according to former skipper Leonardo Ghiraldini.
The Azzurri,who will aim to win a first Guinness Six Nations encounter since 2015 when they take on Scotland in Rome on Saturday, have the youngest side in the 2022 Championship, led by 23-year-old flanker Michele Lamaro.
He was one of 23 Benetton players named in Italy's initial squad, and for Ghiraldini ,who won 107 caps for Italy,it is at club level where the changes need to start, even if he was impressed by the spirit shown by the team in defeat in Ireland when they were forced to play with 13 men for an hour.
Young rugby coach Thomas rewarded for rescuing Bala girls' team
24/11/2022 AT 11:48
He explained: "It's not easy to judge the team at the moment. Italy have a really young team. We saw the effort and the passion they had in the Ireland game, even though it was so hard and difficult, it was unbelievable.
"It's not enough, I know that and they know that. But at the same time, it's clear that the team is really young and they just have five, six or seven games under their belts with the national team.
"They need more experience with the clubs. Some of them started playing with the national team before playing with their clubs which is crazy. It's not their fault,they have get the experience at the clubs before going with the national team.
"That is why sometimes it is tough. When you play at international level, it's a completely different level to the URC or the Challenge or Champions Cup.
"If you just have two professional clubs from which you can take players, the number of players you have is so limited compared to Ireland, for example. That's not even mentioning England and France where you have 14 professional clubs where you have players. That's why the most important thing is to help the clubs to create a winning environment. That is what Treviso is doing at the moment.
"This team will probably have the experience to perform in two to three years but we can't wait that long. That is why they are struggling and Italian rugby has been struggling. Everything starts from the clubs."
Ghiraldini will be one of eight Italian centurions who will be in attendance at the Scotland clash on Saturday,seven men and the sole female centurion Sara Barattin.
Only Sergio Parisse, who is on club duty, will be missing of those to play 100 times or more for the Azzurri.
And while Ghiraldini is not one to seek the limelight, he admits it will be a special moment.
He added: "I'm very happy to be involved. When we talk about rugby,this is the legacy that you want to leave. When you represent your country it's a huge responsibility.
"If you play more than 100 games it's fantastic. I don't like too much celebration of this but you know that you are part of a family.
"In the changing room at the Stadio Olimpico they have all the players who played for the national team and it has the name and the number of the player. You see that you are small part of a big family."
Didsbury rugby volunteer wins national award
22/11/2022 AT 12:28
Loughborough Lightning shooting for the stars says Hardy
19/11/2022 AT 16:57