Italy: Michela Merlo

Gallagher High Performance Academy the next stop on Michela Merlo’s rapid rugby journey

Success for Michela Merlo after the Gallagher High Performance Academy.

Michela Merlo has come a long way in a very short time since she played her first game of rugby at the age of 26, in 2012.

Merlo decided to give rugby a try when she moved to the Italian city of Mantua, mainly because she wanted to meet new people. She quickly discovered that she had a natural aptitude for the sport and made rapid progress at club rugby, before finding herself in the front-row of Italy’s national women’s team.

She is now Scrum Coach for Rugby Mantova’s men’s team and is responsible for running the club’s schools and mini-rugby programme.

“Initially, I thought that, given my advanced age, coaching could be a good way to stay in the world of rugby and sport,” Merlo told World Rugby.

Merlo sees the Gallagher High Performance Academy as a great opportunity to come face-to-face with high performance coaches and staff, and learn from them. 

“I didn’t see the possibility of undertaking a path as a coach at the highest levels in Italy. However, through the Gallagher High Performance Academy I managed to identify my own strengths and consolidate them; as well as my weaknesses – what to focus on and how to overcome them” she said. 

Following her time in the Academy, Merlo has been included in the coaching staff of Zebre’s women’s franchise; and reached a major milestone with the Senior Rugby Mantova team – where she’s employed as a Scrum Coach – who made it to the pool for promotion to the B Series. 

Last updated: Mar 28, 2024, 2:23:30 PM