Ange Capuozzo: Italian talent on the rise who wants to surprise England in the Six Nations

Italian rugby was facing a 36th straight Six Nations defeat and an unwelcome seventh Wooden Spoon on March 12, 2022. A hero was required.

With 30 minutes remaining in a match against Scotland in Rome, the struggling Azzurri resorted to a somewhat light and young-looking full-back who had been selected from the second tier of French rugby.

Ange Capuozzo won the title of breakout player of the year for World Rugby eight months later.

French-born Capuozzo rose through the ranks at Grenoble, his hometown club, initially as a scrum-half, but was passed over by Les Bleus at the age-group level.

Italy wouldn’t commit the same error.

The quick-footed Capuozzo played for the national junior teams of Italy before being selected to represent the Azzurri thanks to his Italian parents.

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