Six Nations: Lo Cicero ‘thrilled’ to join elite club
ANDREA Lo Cicero has vowed to keep his mind on the job in hand against Scotland today as he anticipates the ‘great thrill’ of marking his 100th cap for Italy.
The 36-year-old will join an elite band of players, including the likes of Brian O’Driscoll, Richie McCaw, George Gregan and Phillipe Sella, who have reached the century mark, and will be just one more appearance short of matching his country’s record cap holder, Alessandro Troncon. The Sicilian prop, who made his international debut in 2000, will walk out on his own for kick-off so he can receive the acclaim of the Murrayfield crowd for reaching his historic milestone.
For a player who is often reduced to tears pre-match by the Italian national anthem the experience is certain to be an emotional one. However, the Racing Metro front-row forward is determined the occasion will not get the better of him as he bids to help Jacques Brunel’s side to build on Sunday’s stunning 23-18 victory over France. He said: “It will be a great thrill, I hope not to get distracted.”
Murrayfield is sure to have a special place in Lo Cicero’s heart, having earned his 50th cap there. On that occasion Italy won for the first time away from home in the Six Nations, a 37-17 triumph.
Lo Cicero has urged his team-mates to ensure that the win over France was not just another flash in the pan, and added: “In the midst of building a team, we have played some bad games and some good games, and sometimes we deserved the victory more. Against France we did that. Now we want to continue to climb the stairs, to improve.
“If a team works to win, then success is a result. We saw it against France, but we must continue in this direction to make it clear that Sunday was not an episode, but a sign that the mentality of this team has changed.”
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