Bortolami praises Aironi’s Phillips

Guinness PRO12 Editor

14 Dec 2010


Features, News

Former Italian captain Marco Bortolami believes Aironi have finally turned a corner under the guidance of new head coach Rowland Phillips.

The former Wales defensive coach took overall charge at the Viadana based franchise last month and saw his side claim their first competitive fixture against last season’s European Cup finalists Biarritz Olympique on Saturday.

Aironi travel to France this weekend in the return fixture ahead crunch back-to-back games against Benetton Treviso in the Magners League over the festive period.

And Bortolami believes his side can build from the victory and start to make an impact in the domestic competition.

“It feels like a whole new start for us now,” he said.

“We proved that we have quality and we can really play. It brings the self belief back into the team and we can start to believe we can compete against anyone.

“We need to build from this and take the form into the Magners League. We have got two games against Treviso which are going to be huge.

“Obviously Aironi have never played Treviso before but we all know each other well and it will be important to come out on top.

“The win at the weekend was huge for us on two fronts. It was the first win of the season and second we proved ourselves against last season’s European Cup finalists and that is huge.”

Bortolami, who returned to his native Italy after plying his trade with English premiership side Gloucester for the past four seasons and believes the club’s fortunes are down to Phillips.

“In a few weeks Rowland has really turned things around here,” he added.

“He has bought the British mentality to the club and to coaching and the professionalism he brings earns him a lot of respect.

“He is very passionate and his personality comes across in his coaching. He is putting on the right foot for the journey we have ahead.

“I think you can see from our recent performances, especially this weekend what he has actually brought to the team."