Sisi’s set to seize his new chance with Italy

The Rugby Paper - - National League 1 - By NEALE HAR­VEY

RE­NAIS­SANCE man David Sisi ad­mits he can barely be­lieve his stroke of good for­tune af­ter be­ing sum­moned into Italy’s squad for the Six Na­tions.

A Ju­nior World Cup win­ner with Eng­land U20s in 2013, ver­sa­tile for­mer Lon­don Ir­ish and Bath for­ward Sisi looked set for big things in a se­nior Red Rose jersey af­ter star­ring along­side the likes of Jack Clif­ford, Jack Now­ell, An­thony Wat­son and Henry Slade.

How­ever, a se­ries of in­juries led to his ca­reer stalling and two years ago he found him­self on loan at Lon­don Scot­tish with his fu­ture in some doubt.

Cue a move to Ze­bre in 2017 and, cour­tesy of an Ital­ian fa­ther, the 25-yearold lock-cum-back row can now be­gin dream­ing of a de­but at full Test level. Sisi told The Rugby

Pa­per: “Two years ago, I was just com­ing back from shoul­der re­hab and if you told me I’d be in the po­si­tion I am now, I’d have bit­ten your arm off.

“I needed some­thing to change so I looked out­side Eng­land and Italy has been my sal­va­tion.

“It’s been a big graft this sea­son and we prob­a­bly should have had more re­sults go our way, but I’ve been happy with my per­for­mances.”

Italy are in need of a lift them­selves af­ter win­ning just six of 28 Tests since Conor O’Shea and Mike Catt took charge of Az­zurri af­fairs in 2016. But with Benet­ton im­press­ing in the PRO 14 and Ze­bre on an up­ward curve, Sisi is op­ti­mistic.

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