Rugby: Ange Capuozzo, from Pro D2 as revelation of the year, the crazy year of the Franco-Italian prodigy

It’s a chip with the face of a teenager who has fun in the land of the mastodons, twirls around the bulldozers, rows gracefully on the lawns, and spins, like lightning, into the slightest mouse hole. It’s the smile of a child with smooth cheeks, the carelessness of the bold. It is above all a refreshing future that opens up for him and for his sport. As the curtain fell on the international season, Ange Capuozzo, the rear of the Italy team, was voted revelation of the year 2022 at the World Rugby Awards organized on Sunday evening in Monaco by the International Federation .

This consecration was self-evident as the exploits of this 23-year-old pocket size (1.77 m; 70 kg) shook the oval planet throughout the year. Everything went very quickly, like its dazzling accelerations. For his first selection, on March 12, he scored two tries against Scotland. A week later against Wales, in Cardiff, he offered Italy the first victory in 36 games in the Six Nations Tournament, on a sixty-meter raise at the very last minute (22-21).

This fall, he is still playing the troublemakers by scoring two tries in a historic success against Australia (28-27) on November 12. And in front of the Springboks on Saturday, he once again masterfully crossed the goal line, allowing his team to hold off the world champions, before sinking in the second half (63-21).

“Every action where I touch the ball must make a difference”

The idol is celebrated on the other side of the Alps and yet it is on this side, at the foot of the mountains, in Grenoble, that Ange Capuozzo was born, that he grew up, and that he discovered rugby before joining Stade Toulousain this season. “I am Franco-Italian, he explained to us last spring. I had a friendly match when I was a hopeful in Grenoble against Italy, who then contacted me to play in the Under-20 World Cup (in 2019). It makes sense in my family where there is a very strong Italian identity. My great-grandparents came to Grenoble from Naples just after the Second World War. They were fleeing poverty. I still have a lot of family in Bologna, in Rome. Today, I represent a country, I sing an anthem. A nation is not a club. I remain faithful to it. I cannot have any regrets because I have never been called up by France. »

Will the Blues bite their fingers, in ten months, during the World Cup in France (September 8 – October 28, 2023) while the Italians are in their pool with New Zealand? The young prodigy does not see so far. He is content to reveal himself to the world with a disarming naturalness. He left Grenoble and the Pro D2 in the off-season to experience the great thrills with Stade Toulousain – “the Real Madrid of rugby”, he says – and he intends to make a place for himself there while the competition is raging. at his rear position with Thomas Ramos and Melvyn Jaminet, the two international tricolors. Ange Capuozzo is not afraid of anything.

“The fact of being less sturdy forces me to be at 10,000% so as not to put myself in danger, to think differently too, he underlines. I feel atypical. Every action where I touch the ball must make a difference. “A great way to see things and consider his sport. A quirky and brand new look. The dream life of an angel.


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