Quesada is taking Italian rugby into a new era
Gonzalo Quesada is the new Italian head coach looking to make his mark at the 2024 Six Nations.
Here are some things you should know about his career so far …
Ten things you should know about Gonzalo Quesada the Italy rugby union coach
1. Gonzalo Quesada was born on 2 May 1974 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During his playing days he was a fly-half and played for Hindu, Narbonne, Beziers, Stade Francais, Pau and Toulon in his club career.
2. Quesada Made his debut for Argentina in 1996 and accumulated over 35 caps for his country.
3. He retired from playing in 2008 and his first coaching role was as a kicking coach for the French national team. He has since been an coach for Racing-Metro, Stade Francais, Biarritz, Jaguares and now Italy.
4. Quesada took over as Italy head coach following the 2023 Rugby World Cup, where Italy bowed out in the pool stage.
5. The coach has worked hard to be able to speak Italian, holding press conferences in the language. He can also speak Spanish, English and French.
6. Quesada did not change the backroom staff when taking over from Crowley and has said it is the first time he has started a job not knowing anyone in his staff.
7. He has set out one of his main priorities in taking over the Italian side, saying: “Before coming into the job I followed the national team, I watched Benetton and Zebre and I spoke with the two head coaches from the clubs.
“But before talking about the game plan my priority is to define a common vision with the staff.”
8. Quesada’s ambition is one of the main reasons he was chosen for the Italy job. Italy rugby federation president Marzio Innocenti said: “We are not going to put pressure on him with unrealistic objectives that he cannot meet, but if the Federation is ambitious, Gonzalo is even more so and that is the primary reason why he is here as the new Italy coach.”
9. He was good friends with Federico Martín Aramburu who was murdered in 2022. Quesada told L’Equipe: “It was doubly terrible for me to wake up to this news. I couldn’t understand it. It was really hard. I have very fond memories of his last days. He was a true friend, we always shared good times. I must admit that I don’t remember being any sadder.”
10. Quesada is married to journalist and presenter Isabelle Ithurburu.