Allan (ITA) - 'My mum is cap No.2 for Italy'

Allan (ITA) - 'My mum is cap No.2 for Italy'

Comments from Italy fly-half Tommaso Allan as he reflects on learning the game from mother, an Italian international, before looking ahead to a defining seven days with Italy playing New Zealand and France.

Tommaso Allan, fly-half

On his mum being cap number two for the Italy women’s rugby team:

"She was part of the first Italy women’s team. She played either scrum-half or wing. Her cap number is number two, which is quite cool. It’s awesome for her to be in history for Italian rugby.

"It was against France and a 3-3 draw."

On seeing his mum awarded her cap retrospectively ahead of one of his first internationals: 

"I remember when she picked up her cap. It was when we played Argentina in 2013 that was my first year with Italy. That whole team got capped just before the anthem. That was quite special.

"It was awesome, emotional."

On getting his rugby skills from his winger mum not his hooker dad:

"Yeah probably, yeah definitely. I never saw her play. I think she stopped just before giving birth [to me]. I am sure she was quick and elusive like me, 100 per cent.

"My dad (a hooker) did try to help me when I was younger with my goal-kicking. I remember us going early, when I was 14,15 and he was trying to give me some insights – even though he probably didn’t know what he was talking about too much."

On his dad, who played elite-level club rugby in South Africa and Italy:

"I’ve heard my dad was a very good player from a lot of people. He was playing hooker and they said if he was a little bit bigger he probably would have played international hooker (for South Africa)."

On uncle John Allan, who played for Scotland and South Africa:

"He helped me out a lot with some opportunities. I went to summer schools at Glenwood, in South Africa where both my dad and uncle went. I learned a lot of my rugby there.

"Also, when I went to Western Province U19s he helped me out with that."

On so much of the bounce around Italian rugby being down to head coach Kieran Crowley:

"All thanks to Kieran really. He is giving us a lot of freedom and a lot of responsibilities and as a young group everyone is taking that onboard. We’ve only been together two and a half years and we’ve made massive strides obviously leading up to here. I think everybody has been really happy with what he’s done with this team.

"Hopefully we can send him off in the best of ways."

On the players being sad that Crowley is leaving at the end of the Rugby World Cup:

"Of course we are sad about it but at the end of the day, sport is a bit of a business as well. The decisions have to be made. We just keep looking forwards.

"It’s never easy when there is a change of coach but as a group we were like ‘OK, that’s happened now. There’s no point dwelling on it."

On playing New Zealand and France in the space of the space of a week to finish the pool stage:

"We won’t be an easy game for anyone anymore. We will be disrupting whatever team we go against. As a team we’ve grown so much and we’ve got all the confidence in the world that we can upset some big teams.

"We split up our pre-season and World Cup into different blocks and we’ve just finished this block (beating Uruguay and Namibia). Now we have the next block.

"You always want to play against the All Blacks just because of what they’ve done in the past and then playing against the hosts is going to be great. In France the atmospheres are crazy and it’s going to be even crazier now. It’s going to be awesome."

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