Italian Rugby

DavidW Image
03/12/2011 - 13:27

Well done Italia on winning against France.The beer will be flowing.



That was great to see wasn't it. Absolutely delighted for Italy and really cheered me up to see those scenes of joy in Rome after a rather sad and shocking couple of days.. Was a nervy edge of seat last few minutes tho, yikes.. Am x

Agreed; great weekend; 3 in a row - firstly; Italy with some good friends and ex-players of mine in the team (and my lad Andrea Masi getting Man of the Match); secondly Teramo Under 20 (my boys) beating Primavera Roma Under 20 (containing some 'B' division players who didn't have a match) and the ugly but a win is a win England result (some England players coming through the RFU development system of which I'm proud to have been a part of). Certainly not going to be easy next weekend in Ireland. Let's hope the lessons learned against Scotland are put to good use.

I doubt very much that Rugby will ever become as popular as it is in UK, for a variety of reasons. The fact that the is little or no school sport in Italy means that nearly all sport is delivered to the community by voluntary clubs, and the competition for playing members between various sporting disciplines is rife. Many parents (particularly protective mums but also dads) often confuse Rugby with American Football, portrayed often as a collision sport and therefore potentially dangerous. The Italian Rugby Union (Federazione Italiana Rugby) only promote contact Rugby, and 'softer' versions such as Tag Rugby or Touch Rugby are frowned upon. This means that it's either full on or nothing. Therefore clubs desiring to promote the game even in elementary schools teach contact Rugby. Given that very few schools have sports facilities, or at best a gym, contact rugby in a gym? Most of these gymnasiums are also badly designed, and would not pass UK standard Health and Safety minimum requirements. F.I.R. offer little or no support to clubs wishing to develop the community game, have no resources to offer, and all Club development even at grass roots is generally self funding. Traditionally Clubs try to recruit large often obese children to fill their junior sections. F.I.R. some years ago imposed a 'Stature Project', defining minimum height and weight for young players wishing to enter the representative pathway. This project would have excluded Shane Williams, Diego Dominguez and many other top class players (had they instead been Italian) because they were too small! So, no wonder the majority of the national team either play their rugby abroad, or come from overseas (mainly Argentina). Not one member of the Italian squad is coached at his club by an Italian coach! I rest my case....