Italy player ratings: Rookie back comes of age in narrow Azzurri loss to England

David Skippers
Tommaso Menoncello Italy v England SN 2024 - Alamy.jpg

Italy inside centre Tommaso Menoncello takes on England's defence in Rome.

After their 27-24 Six Nations defeat to England at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, here’s how the Italy team performed on Saturday.

Player ratings

15 Tommaso Allan: Impressed on attack and looked dangerous when he joined the Azzurri‘s line from the back. He was rewarded with a try for his efforts and finished with a 12-point haul thanks to two conversions and a penalty. Also missed a routine shot at goal which proved costly in the bigger scheme of things. 5/10

14 Lorenzo Pani: Not much to report here as the Zebre Parma wing made little impact on attack and defence and came off second best in his direct duel with Tommy Freeman. Yanked off in the 69th minute with Federico Mori replacing him. 4

13 Juan Ignacio Brex: Was his usual solid self in the Azzurri midfield, especially on defence where he made eight tackles, but kept in check on attack and he made little impact in that department. 5

Outstanding all-round performance

12 Tommaso Menoncello: The young inside centre came of age in this encounter as he delivered an outstanding all-round performance for the full 80 minutes. Constantly tested the English defence with some strong attacking runs and eventually gained a team-high 80 metres. Was also excellent in defence where he completed 10 hits. 9

11 Monty Ioane: The Lyon flyer was constantly looking for work and although he made little headway for long periods, he was rewarded just before full-time when he scored a superb try. Also did his bit on defence with seven tackles. 8

10 Paolo Garbisi: Varied his play well, especially during the opening half when the Azzurri looked dangerous on attack. His playmaking skills kept England‘s defence on their toes during that period but he was not as influential after the interval. 6

9 Alessandro Garbisi: Was lively during the opening half and provided a crisp service to his outside backs during that period. Was rewarded with the opening try thanks to good support play but less impactful after the break and replaced by Stephen Varney in the 53rd minute. 6

8 Lorenzo Cannone: Made a stunning break in build up to Alessandro Garbisi’s try and showed great composure to offload to his on-rushing team-mate. Finished with 29 attacking metres gained and also did his bit on defence where he made 12 tackles. 7

Big shift from the captain

7 Michele Lamaro (c): Italy’s skipper got through plenty of work up front as he put his body on the line on defence, where he made a match-high 19 tackles and also caught the eye with some strong carries, finishing with 20 metres gained. Was yellow carded in the game’s closing stages but that doesn’t detract from a strong performance. 8

6 Sebastian Negri: Like his captain, he put his body on the line in the execution of his defensive duties and eventually completed 15 tackles. The tearaway was also a willing ball carrier less effective in that aspect. 6

5 Federico Ruzza: As expected, Benetton stalwart put in a huge effort at the coalface of the forward effort as he won valuable lineout possession and did well on defence, finishing with 10 tackles made. 6

4 Niccolò Cannone: Combined well with Ruzza as he too won his fair share of lineout balls and impressed in the execution of his defensive duties as he made nine tackles. 5

3 Pietro Ceccarelli: The Perpignan prop did what was expected of him in the front-row battle as he was solid in the scrums before leaving the field early in the second half with Giosue Zilocchi replacing him. 5

2 Gianmarco Lucchesi: Was solid in the execution of his core duties with his defensive work outstanding as he made 15 tackles before Giacomo Nicotera came on to replace him after 53 minutes. 6

1 Danilo Fischetti: Combined well with his front-row partners at scrum time and got through plenty of defensive work as he completed 16 hits during a 67-minute stint on the field before being replaced by Mirco Spagnolo. 7

Replacements: The introduction of the Azzurri’s back-up players did not have the desired effect as their overall performance waned when they made personnel changes. 4

READ MORE: England player ratings: NZ-born newbie fills Courtney Lawes’ boots as Tommy Freeman brings club form into the Six Nations

Planet Rugby player ratings key

10 – Career-defining performance
9 – Outright blockbuster effort
8 – Significantly influenced the result of the game
7 – Committed and effective outing
6 – Flashes of brilliance outside of executing fundamentals
5 – Fulfilling the role required by position (base level)
4 – Poor execution of fundamentals
3 – Costly errors and/or discipline in the game
2 – Poor performance that directly impacted the result
1 – Grossly ineffective throughout
0 – Should have carried water instead