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Six countries rugby | Blue legend Baratine became the first Italian player to reach 100 appearances in 2021: Pianetta Striga

Barateen started her traditional half-match role at the Sergio Lanfranchi stadium in Parma and is the eighth female rugby player to make 100 appearances, as well as the first player outside the UK, with five English stars, one Scottish and one Scottish. The Welshman composes the other seven.

The Italian rugby legend is already the best attendance maker in Women’s Six Nations history, having played 68 matches in the tournament during her career.

The 35-year-old made her debut against Germany in 2005 and currently has 14 international attempts, but she insists she never started making history when she donned the blue jersey 16 years ago.

“I am honored and privileged to be the first Azura player to reach the 100th title, and I hope to be able to pass on my passion for rugby to future generations,” explained Barateen.

“I never thought of this goal as a goal when it came to my sports career: I just wanted to get past Michela Tondinelli (87 games)!

“This moment is for my grandmother, for Serena, who has been helping me prepare for eight years, and for the teams I’ve been in every moment, on and off the field.”

Her drive and competitive advantage have been crucial to Italy over the years, while her ability to read and control the game since ninth place has made her one of the most intelligent players in the sport.

A highlight of his career has been helping Azzurre take an impressive second place at the 2019 Women’s Six Nations Championship and FIR Forum President Marzio Innocenti praised his influence on the formation over the past two decades.

“Sarah is an exceptional athlete and an example for every rugby player in Italy,” he said. “Clearness in reading the game, technical skills, determination and leadership are just some of the traits that make him one of the living legends of Italian rugby.

“The Italian mentor has been through the toughest moments and has been instrumental in taking the team to the top of the world rankings.

“The 100 appearances mark is just another confirmation of how exceptional this woman is, without a doubt, one of the greatest international personalities of all time.

“We are proud of her, her achievements and her boundless desire to continue improving Italian rugby and making it the best it can be.”

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Queenie Bell

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