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The future of Italian Rugby

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Tobar » Wed, 24 Jan 2018, 21:25

I'm unfamiliar with rugby in Italy but it appears that the vast majority of the clubs, at least in Eccellenza, are based in the north of the country. Have there been greater initiatives at including the south in rugby? I would imagine that would be an "easier" way to make Italian rugby better in the long run. Does soccer/football control too much in the area to really increase rugby participation?

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Wed, 24 Jan 2018, 21:58

No, I think there's never been a specific great plan to expand rugby in the south. Federation assists all the clubs, but with no particular favors to those in the weakest areas. As far as I know.
There are some good realities in the south like L'Aquila (central mountains, near Rome), Benevento (near Naples) and Catania (in Sicily), which provided players also to the national team (mostly forwards, if I'm not wrong), but for some reason (lack of sponsors, the most probable one) their clubs are absent from Eccellenza for many years now and those players are forced to choice northern clubs if they want to dream an international career
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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Tobar » Wed, 24 Jan 2018, 22:42

I would imagine that Italy would benefit greatly from building rugby in the south. I don't know the exact numbers but I would imagine the north has a lot more participation. By increasing the south to anywhere near that level could increase the overall player base by 25% or more. This is a relatively arbitrary number so I could be wayyyy off but it's a somewhat educated guess, I suppose. Not only would it increase the number of potential players for the national team but it would increase the amount of potential money for the national union.

I mean, that's just me. I have the same beliefs about really every country (especially the US) so maybe I'm treating it like it's easier than it really is.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby vino_93 » Thu, 25 Jan 2018, 08:25

Yes for sure that would. That's what did France. The game was southern, mostly south-western... And now there are interest everywhere. It generates much more money, and rugby increased enough to be our second national sport, way before every other sports.
Unfortunately, that doesn't work really well for our national team... But that's another point.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Thu, 25 Jan 2018, 10:05

It's not easy (euphemism for 'very hard and complicated') to establish a rugby culture where it lacks. I don't know how France did it. In Italy clubs are struggling also in the north, also in the most traditional zones, with decreasing sponsors (due to the general economic crisis), decreasing spectators (average crowd in Eccellenza is less than 1,000) and no television live cover.
Maybe Italian Federation should be more proactive and copy a project like "Get Into Rugby", sending instructors and some azzurri around the south during the year. I don't know. They picked Catania as venue of one of the last autumn test matches and it was not a big success (around 12,000 spectators if I'm not wrong, despite the national team was absent from Sicily since some decades)

Another, most detailed map, with Pro14 teams in yellow pin, Eccellenza in red pin, Serie A in green, Serie B in blue and women's Serie A in red rounded mark
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mi ... 000096&z=6

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby vino_93 » Thu, 25 Jan 2018, 14:10

You killed everything by puting two clubs in Pro 14. Who cares ? This is not Scotland or Ireland, used to low level national League. Italy has a culture of strong national championships (football, volley, basket). Rugby could have followed. You had good attendences for championship finale. You killed everything.

If you want to spread the game, you need events. Top 14 finale became a major french event. That was well marketed.

You need to take the place in the media. Show the more you can of free rugby. Here they insist on the "values" : good moon, friendship, respect, virility --> all the opposite of football. + Some great shows as did Guazini with Paris. Some major games for the championship showed as Big national event.
And then, they bring major events to untraditionnal rugby area. Tests matchs, World cup, even top 14 semi finals. They bring rugby to the mass media, all was marketing. Of course you need to support clubs to accept as many kids as you can. 2007 World cup was major for this in France, with many youngs going to clubs.

So everything start from marketing and media diffusion.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 25 Jan 2018, 15:35

Out of interest: how many people attended a game in the Eccellenza pre-Top14?
Was it semi-professional?
Until now I always thought that the Pro14-problem was not two teams, but the locations with no real club behind them.

I think it is great, that they had a game in Catania. Strange location though. I would chose something where tradtional rugby strongholds could still easily travel too. Not the city who is probably the farest away from most of your fans. 12k against Fiji is still respectable under this circumstances.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Thu, 25 Jan 2018, 16:35

I doubt that the way to the diffusion of the game is so celar. If it was so, every federation of every sport in the world would have already ran across it. Italy already had and has big events: the Six Nations matches. Now crowd seems decreasing also in those games, after the enthusiasm of the beginning years (let's hope this edition marks a counter-trend), but those dozens of thousands of spectators of the past years were a God's gift for italian rugby, the best propaganda you may imagine. The men's matches in Rome and live in TV and the U20 and women's teams around the country. Six Nations has really been an healthy wind for the players recruitment (I have no trustable data but I'm sure the number of ruggers in Italy grew up in the last fifteen years: World Rugby says they went from 77,000 to 88,000 from 2014 to 2016!), but somehow not for the clubs' spectators. Also in this case I have not precise data but all the not-young fans of the major clubs like Padova and Rovigo are unanimous on affirming that twenty, thirty and forty years ago the national championship had more spectators and created more passion in the cities. I tend to believe them, it's not just nostalgia. But I don't know the cause of this paradox. The azzurri have high attraction, the clubs a very low one. The cause are the two squads in Pro14? I don't think

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Sat, 27 Jan 2018, 13:24

Today's menu, as always live via www.therugbychannel.it on youtube
The fifth match, Reggio v Calvisano, is fixed for tomorrow; all the games start at 15 CET
Fiamme Oro Roma (Police's club) v Rovigo seems the "big match" of the day

Image

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Mon, 05 Feb 2018, 10:13

Mogliano v Viadana second half started without the referees : )

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Wed, 07 Feb 2018, 16:08

:D :D :D
Brilliant, especially with the Benny Hill soundtrack. What happened?
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Wed, 07 Feb 2018, 16:35

They were just more quick than the referees to come up from the dressing rooms and they didn't noticed the referee was not on the field... : ) Perhaps the strangest thing is that the kicker didn't wait for a whistle to restart the game.
The tv speaker says: "it's cold and raining, they can't wait to finish the game!"

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Stef » Fri, 16 Feb 2018, 11:49

Last season, Benetton had only 5 wins out of 22 games.

This season, they have 7 wins out of 14 games played, and still more games to come. Really hope that they can gain confidence and continue to obtain more wins.

Highlights from their last win against Scarlets (22-12):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdcWVpiTWHU

The new format of this competition seems to be more suitable for the Italian clubs. Zebre also have 3 wins in 14 games.Last year they had 3 wins but in 22 games.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Figaro » Fri, 16 Feb 2018, 14:23

Benetton (in particular) benefit a lot from the new format as they have three games against Zebre and two games against the Southern Kings - that's five games where they're the clear favourites versus two under the old format - plus they will play the Dragons and Edinburgh twice. Conference B is very much the easier one of the two. As you say Benetton have already won 7 games and they have one game each against Zebre and the Kings as well as both games against the Dragons still to come - so between those very winnable games and another upset or two you'd have to fancy them to beat or at very least match their best-ever record of 10 wins, which they last achieved in 2012-13.

That said, I don't think it's fair to imply that it's just the format change. Yes, the format change makes them look better but they have genuinely improved, as have Zebre (who have a much tougher fixture set with these conferences). It looks like things are much improved off the pitch as well - I think I read somewhere they're on the verge of signing a new long-term contract with the league, after reports they were on the verge of quitting/being booted out a year or two ago.

It will be interesting to see how the conferences look next season - I know it's 2/2/1/1/1 from each country but I'm not sure how they work out which teams ends up in each one.

It's a shame that the improvement in the Italian Pro14 sides can't be seen in the national side (yet). They've already shipped over 100 points this Six Nations in just two games - yes, arguably against the two strongest sides, but I can't see them beating any of the others or even registering a bonus point.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby tryman » Fri, 16 Feb 2018, 21:34

Zebre have just beat the 2016 champions AWAY from home with 2 players in the bin at the end.

They look a far fitter team than in previous years, totally different to years gone by. Apparently O'Shea brought that in immediately to both club team.

The Italian clubs are certainly much better this year. The Italian national side will be much improved in 2-3 years.

Also the U20s nearly beat Ireland in Dublin last week. Final score was something like 38-34 and they scored some lovely tries.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby amz » Fri, 16 Feb 2018, 21:49

tryman wrote:Zebre have just beat the 2016 champions AWAY from home with 2 players in the bin at the end.

They look a far fitter team than in previous years, totally different to years gone by. Apparently O'Shea brought that in immediately to both club team.

The Italian clubs are certainly much better this year. The Italian national side will be much improved in 2-3 years.

Also the U20s nearly beat Ireland in Dublin last week. Final score was something like 38-34 and they scored some lovely tries.


Indeed O'Shea seems to have a more holistic approach than what happened in Italian rugby recently and theur backline was good and I was impressed by the young fullback, tidy player. The thing that worries me with O'Shea is that looking back at the teams he trained, they lacked in forwards, here I think he needs help from a some well seasoned assistants.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby 4N » Fri, 16 Feb 2018, 21:50

tryman wrote:Zebre have just beat the 2016 champions AWAY from home with 2 players in the bin at the end.


With a mostly non-Italian lineup.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby amz » Fri, 16 Feb 2018, 21:55

4N wrote:
tryman wrote:Zebre have just beat the 2016 champions AWAY from home with 2 players in the bin at the end.


With a mostly non-Italian lineup.


yeah but it is Zebre, that useless franchise

they have, btw, only 11 foreigners in their squad.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Fri, 16 Feb 2018, 22:02

Zebre had 9+4 italian players in the line-up, tonight. And probably when the national team players are free the percentage of italian players is also bigger.
I hardly would define it a mostly non-italian lineup

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby tryman » Fri, 16 Feb 2018, 23:32

Canalina wrote:Zebre had 9+4 italian players in the line-up, tonight. And probably when the national team players are free the percentage of italian players is also bigger.
I hardly would define it a mostly non-italian lineup


Exactly. 13 qualified players in the line up is up there with the highest of percentages for teams.

I think we actually need to give Zebre a bit of credit here...

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby victorsra » Sat, 17 Feb 2018, 00:06

Ireland and Scotland have many national team players born abroad that we forget. Wales too, specially born in England. We judge Italy more because foreign names are more visible in an Italian lineup.
Last edited by victorsra on Sat, 17 Feb 2018, 00:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby 4N » Sat, 17 Feb 2018, 00:08

So is this lineup incorrect? 7 foreigners plus George Biagi is Scottish.

http://www.itsrugby.fr/match-139893.html

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Sun, 25 Feb 2018, 14:07

National cup final, live now: Fiamme Oro (Rome) v San Donà (near Venice)


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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby victorsra » Sun, 25 Feb 2018, 14:13

4N wrote:So is this lineup incorrect? 7 foreigners plus George Biagi is Scottish.

http://www.itsrugby.fr/match-139893.html

We neeed to understand who are those players born abroad. If they really have family (parents...) from the country they want to represent or if they grew up in that country, come on, it doesn't count. What matters are those players that moved as rugby professionals.

Parisse, for exemple, is the son of Italians. His father even played rugby in Italy, for L'Aquila, and was Italian champion. He was born and raised in Argentina, but I can't count him as an "Argentine Italy has stolen".
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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby amz » Sun, 25 Feb 2018, 14:43

ancestry thing that Brits are using to get those SH players is more of an issue than Italians who played abroad but most posters carefully avoid to talk about this. How many non-Scottish born were in the squad which defeated England yesterday?

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