Guinness PRO14 Next-Gen: Federico Mori

Charlie Talbot-Smith
01 October 2019

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Anyone who saw Federico Mori’s debut try last week will not be surprised to hear that athleticism is rife in his family tree.

Still only 18, Mori showed an unreal burst of pace after climbing off the bench for Zebre to leave both Mark Bennett and Duhan van der Merwe in his wake on the way to the try line.

It was a memorable first appearance in the Guinness PRO14 and a reminder of where the Livorno youngster has come from.

UNCLE FAB

Mori is the nephew of Fabrizio Mori.

The Italian hurdler who shocked the world in claiming world championship gold in 1999 in Seville and then nearly repeated the feat two years later in Edmonton, only to be edged out by Felix Sanchez on the line.

His time of 47.54 seconds that day in Canada remains a national Italian record.

Fabrizio’s children are all promising athletes in their own right, eldest son Gabriele changed a football career to pursue one as a sprinter, while Massimo throws the javelin and Rachele the hammer.

But Fabrizio’s brother’s son was more taken by rugby at a young age.

Aged eight he first got a taste for it in Livorno, the coach told his family that the kid has talent. And Federico has never looked back.

“I am in love with the spirit that reigns in the team,” he told RugbyMeet in an interview earlier this year.

“I think it’s something that was transmitted to me by the family: sport was a constant presence, a positive force.”

CLIMBING THE TREE

The natural pace and power of his family tree is clear to see.

Edinburgh felt the full force of it, and many more teams will do over the course of this season as the teenager, who only turns 19 next weekend, starts to get more game time.

The World Cup is a great chance for him to earn his spurs, with the likes of Carlo Canna, Edoardo Padovani and Giulio Bisegni all with the Azzurri in Japan for at least two more weeks.

A centre by trade, but capable of slotting anywhere across the backline, the No.23 shirt looks the best place for him to learn his trade at this level.

But in the age-groups, Mori has already made an impression.

Playing two years above his age, he was a key cog in the Under-20s Six Nations at the start of this year, crossing for a try in Italy’s impressive win over Scotland.

And then this past summer in a tough pool at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship, they came within a whisker of upsetting England before seeing off Georgia and Scotland on their to a creditable ninth-place finish.

He will be back in action at under-20 level again this season, and itching to make the grade at senior level one day soon.

But for now the focus is on the Guinness PRO14, a first start should be the short term goal.

And if he continues to leave defenders in his wake like his debut, then it surely isn’t too far away.

Cardiff City Stadium will play host to the 2020 Guinness PRO14 Final on June 20 as one of the most exciting days in the club rugby calendar comes to Wales!

General sale tickets are available from http://bit.ly/PRO14Cardiff2020 and prices start at just £13 for concessions and £26 for adults (subject to booking fees), that’s a 15% early bird discount. Family ticket (2 adults / 2 children) prices begin at £64 and fans are encouraged to buy early to get the best value tickets.

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