Johnstone lays down the law
December 31, 1999
Italy's tough-talking rugby union coach Brad Johnstone issued his players with eight commandments on Thursday in a bid to knock them in to shape before the start of the Six Nations tournament.
The former All-Black captain and prop forward, who took over as coach after Italy's poor performaces at this year's World Cup, said squad members must abide by the following rules:
1. All players called up for an Italy training session must attend, even if injured.
2. No one Italy squad player is more important than another.
3. All players must put the squad before themselves.
4. All players are personally responsible for ensuring they can attend training, regardless of commitments to their club sides or clauses in their contracts. If they do not attend it means they do not want to play for Italy.
5. Players are responsible for improving their personal technique by practising kicking and line-out throws.
6. Players must present themselves at Italy training sessions in peak physical condition.
7. Player must remember they represent Italy both on and off the pitch.
8. Players must inform the coach personally of any injuries within 24 hours.
Johnstone signalled his intent to review the entire squad by calling up 74 players for Italy's first training camp of the New Year on January 10 and 11.
Italy make their Six Nations debut against Scotland at Rome's Flaminio stadium on February 5 after being formally invited into the historic tournament last year.