Italy had their best Six Nations ever in 2024

Italy centre Tommaso Menoncello has won the Six Nations Player of the Championship. The 21-year-old is the youngest player to ever win the award for the men’s competition.

He also becomes just the second Italian to win the men’s award. Andrea Masi won the gong in 2011.

Read more: Italy beat Wales

The award is based on a public vote. There were three other players nominated; Ireland’s Bundee Aki, England’s Ben Earl and Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe. 146,000 fans voted for the award and Menoncello won 33% of the votes.

“It is truly special to represent my country,” Menoncello said. “To wear the Italy jersey alongside my friends and teammates. To then deliver performances that hopefully inspired the fans is what dreams are made of. Winning this award is testament to the achievements of the entire Italy team, and a sign of the exciting journey we are taking with Italian rugby.

“I would like to thank all my teammates, coaches, and the passionate fans. I would also like to congratulate all the other nominees for this award. We play an incredible but tough sport, and awards that recognise the commitment and sacrifice of each player means a lot.”

Menoncello did not play in the 2023 Rugby World Cup because of injury.

Across the Six Nations championship Menoncello was a dominant presence in the team, particularly in defence. He made the most metres in contact, 79, of any Italian player. He also made 303 carry metres, made eight dominant tackles and made the joint-most turnovers, four, of any back in the competition.

Menoncello’s award comes after Italy’s most successful men’s Six Nations ever. They came away with two wins, against Scotland and Wales, and a draw against France. It was the first time they had gone unbeaten in three matches.

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