Italian Spotlight: Carlo Canna

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor
29 December 2016

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Since Conor O’Shea arrived in Rome back in July, Zebre Rugby’s Carlo Canna has been one of the most influential players in the Azzurri playing setup.

Last month in Florence he was instrumental in Italy’s historic first-ever win against the Springboks and he will be one to watch in the next Six Nations campaign.

Canna was also at the heart of Zebre Rugby’s historic win over Edinburgh Rugby at the end of October when he kicked 14 points in the Italian side’s first-ever victory on Scottish soil.

The 24-year-old from Benevento is the son of Gerardo, a former Italian player capped at junior level. Standing at 6ft 2in and 95kg, he is one of the few Italian fly-halves that combines vision in open play with a natural accuracy from the tee.

Canna was initially involved in the Italian senior squads back in 2013 when he attended the Emergenti camp for a short period.

He erupted from nowhere in 2015 when he won the Italian Eccellenza Season’s Player Award, wearing the No. 10 shirt for semi-finalists Fiamme Oro Rome.

He was then called up by former Benetton Rugby Treviso coach Umberto Casellato to rejoin the Emergenti squad ahead of the IRB Tbilisi Cup where he excelled, claiming the top scorer list with 29 points in 3 games, ahead of Emerging Ireland’s JJ Hanrahan.

Those performances led Zebre Rugby to sign him for two seasons.

Due to the fly-half crisis that brought Italy on its knees before the 2015 Rugby World Cup he was then called by former Azzurri coach Jacques Brunel to join the National Team squad.

Canna made his debut coming from the bench on August 22 in Turin against Scotland. To date he has 13 international caps under his belt and 137 points scored for Zebre in 22 Guinness PRO12 matches.

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