Giovanbattista Venditti admits the support of his experienced Aironi colleagues has been instrumental in his successful transition into international rugby.
The giant 21-year-old winger has been one of the shining lights for Aironi in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season and was duly rewarded with a first international call-up for the Six Nations.
On Saturday he scored the only try in Italy’s 13-6 win over Scotland, their first success of the tournament and Venditti’s second try on the big stage.
While Venditti was just beginning his international career, his Aironi teammate Fabio Ongaro, after 80 caps, chose the Scotland game to walk away from Test rugby.
Ongaro will join Venditti as Aironi look to build on their shock RaboDirect PRO12 win over reigning champions Munster towards the end of the season.
And the young winger revealed veteran hooker Ongaro’s success has come from the hard work he puts in behind the scenes.
He said: “It was a great emotion to score but I would like to extend a few words to my more experienced team-mates, they are an example to all of us and they are greats.
“Also a big salute to Ongaro, even against Scotland he was crucial. You don’t see how much these guys work behind the scenes: They are simply fantastic.”