FIR President realistic about performance
March 9, 2000
FIR presidente Giancarlo Dondi said he was ashamed by Italy's poor performance in Dublin. writes Gian Luca Barca
"I think that some players need a good shake up and a well deserved kick up the butt - he said - Up until the last World Cup we put our main problem down to lack of team spirit and unity.
Now things have changed for the better, the players are happier, but on the day they are not performing and the results are still disappointing.
I think new coach Brad Johnstone has come face to face with a new situation: lack of character and self belief are not problems New Zealanders are used to dealing with. Perhaps we are not yet ready for such a long string of high level games, in such a short period of time.
It will take time before we are able to consistently play good rugby".
Toulon's Heineken Cup final victory over Clermont Auvergne may have ended a long title drought for the Top 14 club but two of their players are no strangers to success
We bring you our pick of the best pictures from around the world in the last seven days with the battle for Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup glory taking centre stage
"If you listen carefully you should be able to hear them mining the granite for the statue of a certain Jonny Wilkinson" Graham Jenkins reports from the Heineken Cup Final
Quade Cooper's defence is better than it was 12 months ago and Robbie Deans has erred in omitting him from the core Wallabies squad to play the Lions, Greg Growden writes