BE PART OF THE TEAM

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 12°C Monday 17 May 2021
Advertisement

This out-half has a mystery kicking coach who he emails video clips to

Ireland will face this Italian in England in a few weeks.

Kicking on: Italy's Tommaso Allan.
Kicking on: Italy's Tommaso Allan.
Image: Massimo Pinca

MOST INTERNATIONAL FLY-halves like to have their kicking coaches alongside them but Italy’s Tommaso Allan prefers to keep his anonymous and at a distance.

The 22-year-old — who has been compared to Italy’s legendary kicker Diego Dominguez — sends an England-based coach videos of his kicking over the internet and the coach analyses them before giving advice on how to improve technique.

Allan refuses to name the mystery advisor. But he says it has had been extremely positive for him.

“I have to send him clips or talk to him over the phone,” Allan said.

“It has been going well the last few months and I’ve been working hard on it and it helps my confidence and hopefully this week will go well as well,” added Allan, whose idols are England’s 2003 World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson, All Black great Dan Carter and our own Jonathan Sexton.

Allan, who plays club rugby for fallen French giants Perpignan, said that when he is on the pitch he tries to blank out the action going on around him.

“It is a lot of mental rehearsal,” said Allan, who has racked up 60 points in 17 Tests since making his debut in 2013.

“Working on the routine and getting in the zone really, not thinking about what is going on around you, just concentrating on the task.”

Italy-born Allan does not seem to regret his decision to turn his back on the land of his father William’s birth, Scotland. He did however play for the Scotland under-17, under-18 and under-20 sides before making his mind up.

One of his uncles, John Allan, played for both Scotland and South Africa.

Italy have lost all three of their warm-up games, twice to Scotland and once to Wales. But Allan is encouraged by the wave of young players breaking into the team and perhaps promising a better future for the team.

“We try and bring a lot of confidence with our game,” said Allan, whose mother captained the Italy women’s team in the first Test they played.

“We’ve been together for two years now and I think that we are more confident in how we want to play and we want to show that there is also a backline in the Italy team and not only a forward pack.”

Sean O’Brien hungry to dominate the rucks for Ireland at the World Cup

Irishman Hanratty thriving in Canada with Schmidt’s words in mind

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (1)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel