**Even before the Guinness PRO14 was brought to a halt by coronavirus, Benetton had experienced a rollercoaster campaign as they struggled to replicate last season’s heroics.**\n\nThe Italian side went from reaching the Final Series for the first time in their history to scratching around for wins in the early part of the 2019/20 season before starting to find some form. \n\nBut even when things were not going smoothly, the Treviso club could take heart from possessing an emerging talent in Niccolo Cannone who appears destined for greater things in the future. \n\nAged just 22, the towering lock has already shown his ability for club and country, earning a call-up for Italy and playing three games during the 2020 Guinness Six Nations. \n\nThat should be just the start of what should be a long and distinguished career for the former Italy Under-20 sensation as he looks to build on the promising foundations he’s put in place. \n\n# **Swapping from prop to lock**\n\nStanding at 6ft 5Ins, it would be easy to assume Cannone was always destined for the second row. \n\nYet during his rise through the Italian youth ranks, he often dabbled with the position of prop before settling on becoming a lock - a position he has quickly made his own at Benetton. \n\nBorn in Firenze, he started his youth career at Florentia before spending time in the F.I.R. Academy and Petrarca, making 37 appearances over three seasons for the latter.