New Zealander Kieran Crowley will step down as Italy coach after this yr’s World Cup in France after the Italian rugby federation (FIR) mentioned it could not be renewing his contract.

Crowley took over as coach of the Azzurri in September 2021, after 5 years as head coach of Benetton.

The previous All Blacks fullback, who coached Canada on the 2015 Rugby World Cup, at present boasts a report of six wins and 13 defeats with Italy.

Two of these victories had been memorable ones: beating Wales in Cardiff and Australia, for the primary time ever, in Florence.

However the FIR have determined to not renew his contract by to the Rugby World Cup in 2027 — a call Crowley known as unlucky.

“Now that we’ve determined to finish the connection with Crowley after the following World Cup, it’s time to take inventory. And Kieran’s time with Italian rugby could be very constructive,” FIR president Marzio Innocenti mentioned.

“He raised a gaggle of boys, making them males and gamers of excessive worldwide degree, and for this we will likely be eternally grateful.

“However our work collectively isn’t but completed. Now we have one thrilling journey left to dwell in France subsequent September and I’m certain that Kieran and his staff will go away their indelible mark on the historical past of Italian rugby.”

Crowley mentioned he “would have preferred to be concerned with the Italian nationwide staff for the following Rugby World Cup cycle and I’m sorry that the FIR has chosen to not lengthen my contract”.

“With a World Cup and one other 4 years of worldwide matches, we could have a squad of gamers averaging 50-60 caps every, an thrilling prospect.

“Sadly I cannot be a part of this journey. Now I’ve to consider what lies instantly forward of us, specifically the World Cup in France, earlier than my departure.”

© Agence France-Presse


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