Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Rugby

Italy's Mauro Bergamasco hails brother Mirco after reaching World Cup milestone

Published 14/09/2015

Mauro Bergamasco, centre, has equalled the record of reaching five successive World Cup finals
Mauro Bergamasco, centre, has equalled the record of reaching five successive World Cup finals

Mauro Bergamasco has hailed brother Mirco for helping him become just the second player to reach five World Cup finals - despite his sibling missing the 2015 tournament.

Veteran Italy flanker Bergamasco joins former Samoa centre Brian Lima in reaching a fifth World Cup competition, the 36-year-old appearing at every tournament since 1999.

Bergamasco's 32-year-old brother Mirco was overlooked by Italy boss Jacques Brunel, though, leaving the elder sibling paying tribute to the strength of family ties.

"Sixteen years ago I certainly wouldn't have thought it possible, it was just tough thinking about playing in my first World Cup," said Mauro Bergamasco.

"I have had to do a lot to reach this fifth one; I've worked hard and I have had the support of the other players and the staff.

"Now I am here, my objective is to play, to help the group and hopefully we can enjoy ourselves.

"I am sad that Mirco isn't here alongside me, because since 2002 it has been good to have the two Bergamascos alongside one another.

"He has helped me a lot and if we achieve good results I will definitely dedicate them to him."

Centre Gordon D'Arcy could have joined Mauro Bergamasco and Lima in reaching a fifth tournament, but the evergreen centre was omitted from Ireland's final squad by head coach Joe Schmidt.

Imposing centre Lima graced every World Cup from 1991 until 2007 with Samoa, earning the nickname "The Chiropractor" for his spine-realigning tackling style.

Flanker Mauro Bergamasco has won 104 caps since his 1998 debut for the Azzurri, in a career that has included eight years with French giants Stade Francais.

Italy will open their Pool D campaign by facing France at Twickenham on Saturday, with Zebre back-rower Bergamasco expecting a fierce tussle against Les Bleus and captain Thierry Dusautoir.

"We've seen France playing well against England and Scotland and they've done very well to win two out of their three preparation matches," said Bergamasco.

"We know France well and we will have to find something else to beat them at Twickenham, but it certainly won't be easy.

"Dusautoir is a complete player; a great defender, but someone who carries the ball very well.

"When he does something special on the field, either in defence or attack, it galvanises the team and they all follow him.

"He is a leader on the field, a complete player, physically and technically, and a rallying point for the whole team."

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph