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Saints' Anthony Laffranchi 'emotional' after Italy success against England
SAINTS’ Anthony Laffranchi paid tribute to his team’s defence on a historic day for Italian rugby league.
The Azurri, ranked 13th in Europe, condemned host nation England to a shock World Cup warm-up defeat in Salford on Saturday and Laffranchi was at the heart of it.
The 32-year-old prop, making his debut alongside a number of Australians with Italian heritage, scored the opening try in a 15-14 win that leaves England’s World Cup preparations in the doldrums.
“The camp is pretty happy after that game,” said Laffranchi, whose father was born in Italy.
“England did test us a lot with their shape but our defence kept turning up and shutting down their plays.”
The Italian squad only came together on Wednesday and went into the match on the back of two short training sessions.
“It’s quite emotional,” said Laffranchi, summing up the achievement by a side featuring a mix of NRL and lower league Australian based players, along with a 20-year-old Warrington Wolves back yet to make his first-team debut.
“Everyone’s tied with heritage and to be a part of this historic occasion is a very proud moment for all the boys.”
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