Anthony Minichiello, the former Golden Boot winner, has been appointed as the assistant coach of Italy.
The 36-year-old has joined up with the Azurri ahead of the upcoming World Cup, and will work with former teammate and current Italy head coach Cameron Ciraldo.
A former Sydney Roosters player, Minichiello, the brother of Hull FC forward Mark, earned seven caps for the country while he also played for Australia.
“I was privileged to have been involved in the previous Rugby League World Cup as a player, so to now have the opportunity to be in the Italian coaching ranks is something I’m really excited about,” he said.
“I look forward to passing on my high-performance knowledge to the wider group and having an influence over the team’s campaign at this year’s World Cup.”
Ciraldo added: “I was pleased with our performances during the European qualifiers but know greater tests await at the World Cup. Whilst we have a challenging pool, I also believe our squad has a good opportunity to progress to a possible quarter-final, and the Federation has assembled a coaching panel to support this ambition. Having the experience and insight of one of the NRL’s most respected players in ‘Mini’ will be invaluable as we look to make a statement at this year’s tournament.”
The FIRL has also confirmed the appointment of both Kelly Rolleston (Assistant Coach) and Alex Corvo (Strength and Conditioning Director) to the Azzuri’s coaching staff for the World Cup.
Italy are currently ranked 13 in the world and have been drawn in Pool D for the World Cup alongsideIreland, USA and Fiji during the pool stages.