Italy v Ireland, Six Nations Championship, February 15
Mirco defends Bergamasco name
February 10, 2009
Mirco Bergamasco in action against England, Italy v England, Six Nations, Feb 2008
Mirco Bergamasco has spoken out in support of his under-fire elder brother Mauro ©

Italy wing Mirco Bergamasco has stuck up for his elder brother Mauro following his horror performance as Italy's makeshift scrum-half against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The elder Bergamasco lasted until half-time and played a part in all three of England's first-half tries as Martin Johnson's under-fire side won 36-11. Now Stade Francais wide-man Mirco has spoken out at the fierce criticism levelled at his brother in the aftermath of the match.

"I feel the media reaction was exaggerated - all the blame was put on him," said Bergamasco. "In fact, the fault was of all the team. The tries given away were not Mauro's fault. We have analysed the game, and the problem was not just one player but of the team that goes out on the pitch makes mistakes and loses."

Mallett has admitted his error in selecting Bergamasco, and will now wait until Thursday to name his squad to face Ireland at the Stadio Flaminio on Sunday. Mirco maintains that the squad has taken responsibility for the defeat despite the trouble experienced by his brother.

"I know Mauro; I know his character - and it's normal that he was angry at the end of the game because he wanted to give 100%," he said. "But we all take responsibility for our defeat against England - and we are working to improve for Sunday's game.

"On Sunday we will see a different Italy - because we couldn't have played any worse than we did against England. The important thing is that we maintain the right spirit in the group. We need to show more aggression on the pitch and not make the mistakes we made in the forwards against England.

"We have to continue to work hard and work a lot in attack. Fortunately, we have an extra day to prepare for the game against Ireland. I am convinced that on Sunday we will see a different Italy."


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