Alessandro Zanni believes Kieran Crowley’s All Black touch has proved the perfect fit for Benetton Treviso’s developing stars as they prepare to take on Glasgow Warriors in the Guinness PRO12.
Treviso currently sit 11th in the Guinness PRO12 and, after two weeks of European Rugby Challenge Cup action, they face an incredibly tough return to the league against last year’s semi-finalists Glasgow at Scotstoun on Friday night.
But club captain Zanni, who is set to add to his 99 Italy caps after being named in Conor O’Shea’s squad for the autumn internationals against New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga, believes Crowley is helping to mould the next generation of Treviso and Italy stars.
“Kieran pays close attention to the details, he wants every player to improve physically, mentally and technically,” the 32-year-old explained.
“He wants us to get better match after match and improve our on-field decision making, we are not always the best in choosing the right option and we want to get better in that department.
“Kieran brings that New Zealand influence, he wants all the players to touch the ball, he wants everyone to be able to pass, offload, he wants to play all over the field. It is good for us because we grow like players and we have a little bit of time to understand.”
Treviso turned in a superb performance to down Newport Gwent Dragons 27-11 for their only win of the season so far, but Zanni wants to stop aiming for ‘big’ wins and start aiming for consistency.
“There’s no one ‘big’ win, when we can get two or three victories consecutively, we will change mentality and we will develop,” Zanni said.
“We need to be mentally stronger and play for 80 minutes, not just 60 and then collapse physically. We have to grow up and believe in what we have done.
“Kieran’s influence is great for the younger players, their skills are improving and there is more opportunity for them to become better players.”