There has been a move in Italian rugby

Italy and Zebre have swapped coaches in a move between the national and club sides.

Zebre’s assistant coach Richard Hodges has joined Italy as their defence coach and will link-up with the national team before their summer fixtures. Hodges joined Zebre ahead of the current season.

Related: Italy Six Nations run 

Zebre have are currently last in the United Rugby Championship after only one win from 15 games.

“I am both proud and happy about the opportunity to work with the Italian Men’s Rugby Team,” Hodges said.

“There is a group of players who showed what they are capable of during the last Six Nations. I had a first moment of discussion with the staff and it is very stimulating to collaborate with people who have always shown great enthusiasm and professionalism in their approach to work.

“I thank the FIR for their trust and look forward to starting work in the field.”

Zebre’s head coach Fabio Roselli is leaving at the end of the season. In his place Italy U20 boss Massimo Brunello will take over and he will bring with him his assistant coach Mattia Dolcetto.

With Brunello moving to the club, the youth national team will be taken over by Roberto Santamaria.

He said: “Strong emotions, for me a transition to a higher level of responsibility, aware of having to immediately deal with a very tough competition, with very particular dynamics, such as the World Championship, already experienced last year albeit in a different guise,” Santamaria said.

“Together with the staff we will work in continuity with what has been done in recent years in this group, there will be new additions and new balances to build, a point on which Massimo Brunello has been able to make a very important impact.”

The Italy U20 side have been in good form, finishing fourth in the U20 Six Nations.

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