Italian Rugby
Brunel confirmed as Italy coach
ESPNscrum Staff
May 3, 2011
Perpignan head coach Jacques Brunel, Perpignan v Clermont Auvergne, Top 14, Stade de France, Saint Denis, France, May 29, 2010
Jacques Brunel has been confirmed as Nick Mallett's successor © Getty Images

Italy have officially confirmed that Jacques Brunel will succeed Nick Mallett as head coach following the Rugby World Cup.

The 57-year-old has signed a four-year deal, with the Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR) electing not to offer Mallett a new contract.

Brunel helped France reach the World Cup semi-finals in both 2003 and 2007 while assistant to coach Bernard Laporte and has served as head coach at Perpignan since 2007.

"Italy is now a great rugby-playing nation, they have played in the Six Nations for more than 10 years and with their participation in the Celtic League they can continue to take steps forward," Brunel said.

"I will study the national team and Italian rugby over the next few months from afar, paying special attention to how the Azzurri get on at the World Cup and from the end of the tournament in New Zealand I will start to work directly with the team."

In his four years in charge Mallett has overseen a poor return of six wins in 36 Tests, but did break the Azzurri's long Six Nations duck against France with a 22-21 win in 2011.

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