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The future of Italian Rugby

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 13 Nov 2020, 09:58

Canalina wrote:I really don't know which is the recipe to bring success to italian rugby. Nobody knows, or we would be pursuing it right now...
As maybe I've already said, the club of my city (Valorugby) is perhaps the strongest one currently in Top10; two years ago they won the national Cup and last year they were battling for the national title with Rovigo (and Petrarca and Calvisano) when the epidemic stopped the tournament. My city is not an important one, our football team is in 3rd category, our basketball team in 1st category but far from the best positions, our volleyball team I don't know (3rd or 4th category I suppose): this should suggest a town crazy for rugby right now. Instead at the stadium (4,500 seats) there are 1,000 persons in the best games and 150 in the less interesting (or more cold...) ones. In a town of 170,000 inhabitants and in a province of 530,000.
I suppose that in french Fed2 some teams attract more fans.
The managers of the club are doing their best to involve the town, but the answer of the people is quite cold. Many of the persons that I know don't even know that the local rugby team is battling for the national title; other know that, but they are not interested on searching the result of the games, while a typical question on saturday night or sunday night is "what the football team did? what the basketball team did?".
And, I forgot, the current captain of Italy, Luca Bigi, is from my city and from my club; this should bring even more enthusiasm, but I'm sure very few people in the city remember his name...
How to break this scarce interest and becoming like the south-western province of France? I really don't know


I think the bolded bit s the most important bit, if it was truly obvious what brought the best results (if we can agree on what the best results are to begin with) it would have happened.

170,000 is bigger than Exeter, Bath or Gloucester, slightly smaller than Northampton but similar to all of those seems to have a wide hinterland to draw upon.

Personally I really believe club rugby on the Anglo-French model is the only one that might work domestically for Italy. In my experience of Italy it is similar to France & England in that people don't want to travel to a different city for anything, view their neighbours very strongly as rivals rather than as "regional friends" and have a relatively weak sense of nationalism as compared to some nations like Australia or New Zealand where being from there is a big part of the psyche of people I have met (though that could be the traveller bias, I only meet Australians that have moved to Europe, whereas before one thing and another went to continental Europe once or twice every single year since I was a kid).

One thing I am sure of is that the promises of the Pro14/Celtic League move have conclusively not happened, and its been 10 years now so its not just going to suddenly change course and happen.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 13 Nov 2020, 10:01

vino_93 wrote:South West of France might be a bit too ambitious. They don't care at all of soccer there, except in Bordeaux.
But you are saying there are better attendances in Federale 2... Some small cities have strong local involvement. But for cities of 170K inhabitants, that would be quite similar I guess (because fed 2 is too low to get interest).

It's hard to build a positive message around a sport when there are others culturally dominant. In fact, you need a guy with money and ideas I guess... Producing not only an interesting competition, but something marketable, fascinating. How to do this ? Well... I don't know.
I guess locally, clubs should find good partners : city, big companies, association, ... And offering good things to their public. Good and cheap beer, a nice pizza truck or something like that (don't know if you do that ?), good atmosphere in the stadium. Trying to involve a high number of people. Make sure every rugby people, which have kids playing, come to each matches, to talk about it. Be kind with sponsors : give shirts, goodies to put your colour to the shops in city center / malls.


Then at an higher level, it will become more complicated... How to break the national market ? In the past, the finale of the cup was something quite big in Italy. You need something valuable... Rent a big stadium, chip price, good animations, put it in public TV (pay for it). First step...
But without Treviso and Zebre, can it be seen as something valuable ? For me no... The best players are in another league... There's nothing to win for an investor right now in a club unfortunately... But there's too much to lose for benetton to leave the Pro 14 right now. So first step would be to re-develop a few strong local clubs, generating a bit of money and local enthusiasm. Then everything could be possible... But Pro14 was probably some kind of trap.


I pretty much agree with this, it will be incredibly hard to grow a club game in Italy regardless but the Pro14 makes it very difficult as you are not even competing to be the best team in Italy.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby victorsra » Fri, 13 Nov 2020, 13:50

There is one funny thought (counter-intuite, btw) that I believe is right about Italy. We always say that for a team to improve it must face better opposition. I do believe Italy to improve should face weaker opposition more often. Those players are in a terrible situation, because they lose in the Six Nations, tests and PRO14. There is no space to build a winning culture and to improve psicologicaly. In soccer, if you are a smaller club, relegation/promotion offers a period of healing and rebuilding (if you are a big club, 2nd division is hell, but that's because you have a winning past). In US Sports, draft systems helps, and those players come from College sports, where they most likely were winners in a brutaly competitive environment. Italian rugby players need a refresh sometimes, they need a break in losing.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby vino_93 » Fri, 13 Nov 2020, 14:13

You're totally right ... it's terrible for them to constantly losing. They should try to do autumn & summer tests with only one T1 tests, and 2 T2 tests. Try to bring back a few victories. You can't always lose, lose, lose ... there's enough of 6 Nations for this. And their WR ranking might improve a bit too with this ... of course then, you need to win against those T2. Otherwise that would be terrible.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Fri, 13 Nov 2020, 17:34

I doubt that the players really need to break the series of continuous losses with some game versus lower opponents: they know to be playing against stronger teams, I don't think their fighting spirit is affected by the losses. I think instead that a break in the losses would be appreciated by the fans, a bit depressed (and bored) by this infinite series of "honorable losses". The wins at the RWC against Canada and Namibia were a sort of fresh water; maybe they were just too large, this gave us the sensation that the opponents were not so meaningful. A good fought win versus Fiji or Georgia, at the Autumn Cup, would be healthy for the fans enthusiasm.

Meanwhile three games out of five in the Top10 have been postponed also this week. So far, in Coppa Italia and Top10, 11 games out of 18 had to be postponed.
Covid v Rugby 11-7 :|

About the Vino93 suggestions, I assure you that the club tried many of the ideas that you purpose, but with low effects

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby SK2 » Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 12:17

Hey Guys, First time poster so be gently :)

I have a Question for the italians in this Forum.

Hypothetically, if the Pro14 reformed to a more "domestic" version, would Italians get behind it?

Let`s for a moment assume I have the Power to reshape the Pro14. I`d create a Pro16, with 4 Teams for every participating Nation (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy; SA would be kicked out of the competition, sorry guys). Now every Team plays every Team once and the homecountry Rivals twice. That gives you a total of 18 games each. The best 8 Teams play 3 Round of Playoffs and a Champion is crowned.

BUT in addition to the Pro16 standings, there will be another table just for Teams from one country, which will only factor in the games between them. The best two teams of any Country now play a National Grand Final for the National Championship.

Would a high profil italian playoff final get some interest going in italy?
Would two more teams (for example: A rome Team and Petrarca) and a italian championship give the pro16 a more "italian" feel?

Thanks for reading.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 12:53

SK2 wrote:Hey Guys, First time poster so be gently :)

I have a Question for the italians in this Forum.

Hypothetically, if the Pro14 reformed to a more "domestic" version, would Italians get behind it?

Let`s for a moment assume I have the Power to reshape the Pro14. I`d create a Pro16, with 4 Teams for every participating Nation (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy; SA would be kicked out of the competition, sorry guys). Now every Team plays every Team once and the homecountry Rivals twice. That gives you a total of 18 games each. The best 8 Teams play 3 Round of Playoffs and a Champion is crowned.

BUT in addition to the Pro16 standings, there will be another table just for Teams from one country, which will only factor in the games between them. The best two teams of any Country now play a National Grand Final for the National Championship.

Would a high profil italian playoff final get some interest going in italy?
Would two more teams (for example: A rome Team and Petrarca) and a italian championship give the pro16 a more "italian" feel?

Thanks for reading.


I'm not Italian, but I think this would be a good development for Italian rugby. If that happened right now the four pro teams could potentially be strengthened with Jaguares players and it could help to solve the problem faced by the UAR of what to do with their players now Los Jaguares are out of Super Rugby.
It could also be a stepping stone to Italy having its own professional league.
There is one big flaw in your proposal though. There really is no realistic prospect of Scotland having four professional teams. They have two and they will probably only ever have two.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 13:39

I hope some other italian will answer because I'm not an expert of Pro14 and linked questions.
Anyway, I like your purpose, ideally. But I fear that in Italy there are not enough money and players for four Pro14 teams.
And maybe there are not enough fans too. We have a small fan base (club fans, at least; the national team is a matter apart) and usually the fans are linked to their territory and to the history of their club, they would hardly going passionated for a whole new franchise. Which is the average crowd of Zebre? I don't know, maybe 1500? With four teams it could be lower.
Other problem: with those four teams battling for the national championship, the current national championship would become officially a second category, thus weakening the attractiveness (toward fans and sponsors) of the competing clubs.
So, despite liking your idea and admitting that it's very hard to predict what could or couldn't work for italian rugby, I see these big problems

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby victorsra » Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 13:52

Gavazzi promised 3 teams in PRO14 FOR Italy, but South Africa will happen and it is very likely the PRO16 model with the South Africans stay, which means it will be hard for Italy to expand.

What I'd like to see is Zebre relocated to Rome, to Stadio Flaminio. I know a big part Six Nations fans are tourists, but it seems logical to build a professional team in a city where you already draw crowds for the national team. Many around at least 5.000 fans would be realistic as average at the Flaminio.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby kearnc25 » Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 16:16

There is a lot to like about Italy at the moment tbh Their U20's team has been doing much better beating Wales twice in two years and Scotland twice in three. These players are starting to filter through to the national teams and Garbisi looks like a superstar. Players like Minozzi and Polledri are genuinely world class players as well. Benneton have also improved greatly becoming a dangerous side, a bogey team for Leinster and making it to a quarter final in 2019 losing by just two points. The thing I think needs to be remembered is that Italy is a lot better than in the late 2000s its just that the entire 6 nations has stepped up in that time.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby brules » Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 17:38

vino_93 wrote:You're totally right ... it's terrible for them to constantly losing. They should try to do autumn & summer tests with only one T1 tests, and 2 T2 tests. Try to bring back a few victories. You can't always lose, lose, lose ... there's enough of 6 Nations for this. And their WR ranking might improve a bit too with this ... of course then, you need to win against those T2. Otherwise that would be terrible.

It is WR who defines the TM fixtures.
Actually something is changing recently. There is often at least a T2 game in autumns (it should have been Uruguay this year).

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 18:53

victors wrote:...
Many around at least 5.000 fans would be realistic as average at the Flaminio.

On the paper, in a city of 2.8 millions people and where the national team gathers usually 40,000 spectators, it seems a reasonable prediction.
But if you think that Lazio, in Top10, attract an average crowd of 900 (official data; the real number must be around 500/600) and that the other Rome's Top10 team, Fiamme Oro (they're not a real club, they're the Police team), have an average attendance of 600 (official number, the real one could be 400), then that 5000 seems more a mirage than a realistic prediction

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby victorsra » Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 20:00

But Lazio and Fiamme Oro are both clubs with small possibilities of reaching a broader public playing in fields with very small capacities. PRO14 has a much higher appeal to promote each event (even rugby being a small sport in Italy).

Moreover, I guess most rugby people from other Roman clubs (Capitolina, Primavera, Rugby Roma Olimpic, Vila Palphilli, CUS Roma...) don't attend Lazio and Fiamme Oro. Btw, if we make a calculation of how many members each Roman rugby club has, it is probably more than in any Italian city. There are many clubs there.

Also, I doubt AS Roma fans would attend a Lazio match, no matter rugby is a different sport and an independent organization, while Fiamme Oro is the Police team, not cool.

With this, 5.000 for a All-Rome team playing strong opposition (that might bring a few Britsh/Irish/SA supporters), well promoted in a real stadium (Flaminio) sounds realistic IMO, honestly. Or, at least, for sure it would bring more fans than Parma - and very likely more national media attention.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 20:32

victorsra wrote:But Lazio and Fiamme Oro are both clubs with small possibilities of reaching a broader public playing in fields with very small capacities. PRO14 has a much higher appeal to promote each event (even rugby being a small sport in Italy).

Moreover, I guess most rugby people from other Roman clubs (Capitolina, Primavera, Rugby Roma Olimpic, Vila Palphilli, CUS Roma...) don't attend Lazio and Fiamme Oro. Btw, if we make a calculation of how many members each Roman rugby club has, it is probably more than in any Italian city. There are many clubs there.

Also, I doubt AS Roma fans would attend a Lazio match, no matter rugby is a different sport and an independent organization, while Fiamme Oro is the Police team, not cool.

With this, 5.000 for a All-Rome team playing strong opposition (that might bring a few Britsh/Irish/SA supporters), well promoted in a real stadium (Flaminio) sounds realistic IMO, honestly. Or, at least, for sure it would bring more fans than Parma - and very likely more national media attention.


If rugby is to ever be considered one of Italy's national sports, it needs a professional team in Rome. Same with rugby league in England. The space left by Toronto Wolfpack should be filled by London Broncos. Otherwise, in both cases, it is just a regional sport.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby brules » Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 20:39

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
If rugby is to ever be considered one of Italy's national sports, it needs a professional team in Rome. Same with rugby league in England. The space left by Toronto Wolfpack should be filled by London Broncos. Otherwise, in both cases, it is just a regional sport.


Maybe Milan. Italy is not "capital-centric" as many other countries.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby io.porcorosso » Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 21:32

SK2 wrote:Hey Guys, First time poster so be gently :)

I have a Question for the italians in this Forum.
...


So ... let's try.
In my opinon, no, it won't work.

First: there's no rugby culture. I mean, rugby is played, there's some [not so] stronghold area, likes in Veneto, Emilia, Lombardia, but this "pleasure" for rugby as just rugby, is really limited. It increases when it is "winning time" but in general, people follow a team because it is his/her own team. Rivalry and heritage are far more important rather than rugby itself.

Second: there's no any effort to create an effective major status for rugby. It happened once, when ABs played in San Siro, but just once and then FIR did not continued with that kind of promotion [it was lead by RCS: Gazzetta dello sport - Corriere della Sera], because rugby, in Italy, has been managed by former rugby players only, from top to bottom. Those who try to manage it in a modern, efficent way, are really few, and usually isolated being considered dangerous.

Third: Italy is a 60mln country, 4 teams could be enough just if we could be like UK where home nations are considered, so 4 teams in Veneto and Dogi in 6N could work, but untill we regain indipendence, we have to say that 2 or 4 teams for a so large area are too far less to raise national mediatic interest.

Which Is the cure?

I'm stepping into the dark, but if I've got to spent my two cents, we need a minimum number of clubs, those who aim to improve, to decide to destructure theirself, put their effort together to plan a new domestic, attract neightbour smaller clubs under their umbrella and help those other in lower categories, that share the same idea and purpose, to reach their level and finally producing their own league, without caring top much about FIR, that is, speaking honestly, managed as a elder bocce inner circle. When they will have a good product they could withdraw even Benettòn from PRO14 and battle to create areas where rugby will battle to be the leading sport [as happened to be in France].

Other ways, including Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Leagues, are, imho, wasteful.

Then probably, I'm totally wrong :lol:

victorsra wrote:What I'd like to see is Zebre relocated to Rome, to Stadio Flaminio.

Canalina gave the right reply. In Rome the fan base is even lower than in Parma. The 6N is an happening, it does not increase the Rome rugby potential at all.

Cheers PR-WSM

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby dropkick » Sun, 15 Nov 2020, 23:00

kearnc25 wrote:There is a lot to like about Italy at the moment tbh Their U20's team has been doing much better beating Wales twice in two years and Scotland twice in three. These players are starting to filter through to the national teams and Garbisi looks like a superstar. Players like Minozzi and Polledri are genuinely world class players as well. Benneton have also improved greatly becoming a dangerous side, a bogey team for Leinster and making it to a quarter final in 2019 losing by just two points. The thing I think needs to be remembered is that Italy is a lot better than in the late 2000s its just that the entire 6 nations has stepped up in that time.



+1
They're doing ok now but everyone just sees them losing and base all their views on results. Their U20s, Benetton and Zebre are good barometers of how they're progressing. Their U20s and Benetton are progressing so they must be doing something right. That will eventually filter up to the national side.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Mon, 16 Nov 2020, 02:19

Canalina wrote:I hope some other italian will answer because I'm not an expert of Pro14 and linked questions.
Anyway, I like your purpose, ideally. But I fear that in Italy there are not enough money and players for four Pro14 teams.
And maybe there are not enough fans too. We have a small fan base (club fans, at least; the national team is a matter apart) and usually the fans are linked to their territory and to the history of their club, they would hardly going passionated for a whole new franchise. Which is the average crowd of Zebre? I don't know, maybe 1500? With four teams it could be lower.
Other problem: with those four teams battling for the national championship, the current national championship would become officially a second category, thus weakening the attractiveness (toward fans and sponsors) of the competing clubs.
So, despite liking your idea and admitting that it's very hard to predict what could or couldn't work for italian rugby, I see these big problems


What in your opinion would be the ideal structure for Italian rugby in terms of professionalism?

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby victorsra » Mon, 16 Nov 2020, 02:28

io.porcorosso wrote:

victorsra wrote:What I'd like to see is Zebre relocated to Rome, to Stadio Flaminio.

Canalina gave the right reply. In Rome the fan base is even lower than in Parma. The 6N is an happening, it does not increase the Rome rugby potential at all.

Cheers PR-WSM

I realy find it hard to believe Roma has smaller number of rugby followers than Parma. When I look the list of clubs from Top 10 to Serie C it is the city with more clubs in Italy. Of course each one might have less members, but it is hard to believe.... so, what happens?

I guess, a theory, is that while a small city has fewer clubs or even players, the sport gets more attention and, obviously, fans. In a big city like Rome, although there are more clubs there and maybe even more players, the sports usualy stays restricted to that community, as it is harder to get attention in a metropolis. Maybe that makes sense?

Still, when the marketing works and the sport breaks the bubble, the metropolis can offer much more.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby victorsra » Mon, 16 Nov 2020, 03:01

I decided to have a look at Italy's non-6N matches in Rome in the past 10 years.

2018 - All Blacks - Attendance: 53,204

2017 - All Blacks - Attendance: 60,693

2013 - Los Pumas - Attendance: 37,315 - interesting number, because, just to compare, Verona (in Veneto) hosted Los Pumas in 2010 with attendance of 29,500 (probably not sold out, the stadium has official capacity of 39.000);

2012 - All Blacks - Attendance: 73,000


Well, they basicaly decided to host only the All Blacks in Rome, leaving other opponents to other cities. The All Blacks are obviously a bad exemple, because they attract people outside the rugby bubble. However, there are few Kiwis at the stadium (dfferent from the Six Nations rivals, that bring tourists to Rome), which means a probably almost All-Italian crowd (let's consider expats living there as "Italians"... specualy because they would count as public for the PRO14). Of course, we can also bet there were LOADS of Italian rugby fans from other cities that travelled to Rome (because everybody wants to see the All Blacks).

And that's why the Pumas match matters, because could I assume that was an almost All-Italian/All-Roman crowd? I bet there were many Argies, as there are many living in Italy (and if they live there, they are also potencial public for the PRO14 if they are rugby fans), but still... probably Argentina wasn't attracting that many Italian fans from other cities, specialy because we have the Verona match to compare... Verona is in Veneto, where (correct me if I'm wrong) lives the biggest rugby community in Italy. So.... what can we conclude? :) One thing is important: Rome has more expats than Parma and some of them are rugby fans.... they probably have few reasons to watch Fiamme Oro or Lazio I guess, but they could find PRO14 a cool thing to attend if the event has good fan experience.

Anyway, it is also interesting how the All Blacks matches attendances decreased. Were tickets' prices increasing or just the interest decreased?

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby brules » Mon, 16 Nov 2020, 08:57

victorsra wrote:I decided to have a look at Italy's non-6N matches in Rome in the past 10 years.

2018 - All Blacks - Attendance: 53,204

2017 - All Blacks - Attendance: 60,693

2013 - Los Pumas - Attendance: 37,315 - interesting number, because, just to compare, Verona (in Veneto) hosted Los Pumas in 2010 with attendance of 29,500 (probably not sold out, the stadium has official capacity of 39.000);

2012 - All Blacks - Attendance: 73,000


Well, they basicaly decided to host only the All Blacks in Rome, leaving other opponents to other cities. The All Blacks are obviously a bad exemple, because they attract people outside the rugby bubble. However, there are few Kiwis at the stadium (dfferent from the Six Nations rivals, that bring tourists to Rome), which means a probably almost All-Italian crowd (let's consider expats living there as "Italians"... specualy because they would count as public for the PRO14). Of course, we can also bet there were LOADS of Italian rugby fans from other cities that travelled to Rome (because everybody wants to see the All Blacks).

And that's why the Pumas match matters, because could I assume that was an almost All-Italian/All-Roman crowd? I bet there were many Argies, as there are many living in Italy (and if they live there, they are also potencial public for the PRO14 if they are rugby fans), but still... probably Argentina wasn't attracting that many Italian fans from other cities, specialy because we have the Verona match to compare... Verona is in Veneto, where (correct me if I'm wrong) lives the biggest rugby community in Italy. So.... what can we conclude? :) One thing is important: Rome has more expats than Parma and some of them are rugby fans.... they probably have few reasons to watch Fiamme Oro or Lazio I guess, but they could find PRO14 a cool thing to attend if the event has good fan experience.

Anyway, it is also interesting how the All Blacks matches attendances decreased. Were tickets' prices increasing or just the interest decreased?


I do not have the numbers but A LOT of fans travel from everywhere in Italy to go to the 6N games in Rome. My feeling is that it is the large majority. Of course, without any chance of winning a game it is hard to spend 2-300 euros to take your kids to a game 500Km away. So numbers are dropping. Personally, I do not go any more to games against Australia, NZ, SAF, unless they are very close.

About the game in Verona, the actual capacity is less (35000, the stadium is very old and some sectors were closed), and half of Veneto was literally under the water the week before.

Cheers

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Mon, 16 Nov 2020, 09:02

On the paper many things work, but then the realty is different; probably because there are many hidden obstacles hard to preview. We live in Italy and we "feel" how a project could likely go, even if the paper seems saying the opposite

On the paper: the Lazio team is part of the multi-sport club which involves the Lazio soccer team, Lazio Rugby has even the same shirt colors of Lazio soccer and in the city and the region there are like 500,000 fans of Lazio soccer, you may easily predict that at least 1% of them uses to go cheering for the rugby team, when the soccer one doesn't play at home; plus, there's like a dozen rugby clubs in Rome, they usually play on sunday while Peroni Top10 play on saturday so a good percentage of players and fans could go cheering Lazio in that day; then you add a good amount of expats that like to see rugby and have on Lazio's games the top level that they currently can see live in Rome, then add the normal base of Lazio Rugby fans, the away team fan, the kids of the conspicuous Lazio rugby youth sector and their parents, plus some few hundreds of roman citizens just curios to see rugby (likely amount in a 2.8 millions city). All in all, a crowd of around 8,000 people is predictable for Lazio's games.
Realty: there are usually 500 spectators.

On the paper: in Florence, a town where just soccer is strong (not an expert of basket and volley but I never heard about high level clubs from Florence in these two sports) and where there's an almost millenary tradition of calcio fiorentino, a sort of medieval rugby, a club promoted in the top championship with a good management, some good players and an appealing name ("Medicei Firenze", the Medici was an important Renaissance dynasty) will be a blockbuster in the city.
Realty: after two seasons in Top12 and a 700 persons official average crowd, Medicei Firenze voluntarily decided to drop down in Serie A, due to luck of funds.

On the paper: an European Cup's (Continental Shield) game between Fiamme Oro and Batumi, a club from the Italy's harsh rival Georgia, should gather in a megalopolis like Rome at least some thousands spectators.
Realty:
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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby io.porcorosso » Mon, 16 Nov 2020, 09:02

victorsra wrote:
io.porcorosso wrote:

victorsra wrote:What I'd like to see is Zebre relocated to Rome, to Stadio Flaminio.

Canalina gave the right reply. In Rome the fan base is even lower than in Parma. The 6N is an happening, it does not increase the Rome rugby potential at all.

Cheers PR-WSM

I realy find it hard to believe Roma has smaller number of rugby followers than Parma. When I look the list of clubs from Top 10 to Serie C it is the city with more clubs in Italy. Of course each one might have less members, but it is hard to believe.... so, what happens?

I guess, a theory, is that while a small city has fewer clubs or even players, the sport gets more attention and, obviously, fans. In a big city like Rome, although there are more clubs there and maybe even more players, the sports usualy stays restricted to that community, as it is harder to get attention in a metropolis. Maybe that makes sense?

Still, when the marketing works and the sport breaks the bubble, the metropolis can offer much more.

You are mixing different data.
The ABs fulfilled San Siro, while Australia just attracted 20000/30000 in Padova last year.

Do we have to assume that we need to settle the core of our rugby in Milan and discharge Padova?
In terms of pure number [or potential number] your hypothesis is right, but the answer is no.
Why?

There's basically a different perspective between what is considered an "event", where people gathers from more then one area and feel it as a must [ABs 2009] or not [AUS 2019], and something considered as a "standard".

The example is clear in your suggestion: Rome. A good number of clubs, many times on the highest domestic: Capitolina [they played for years at the Flaminio stadium too], Roma Olimpic [played in a 3000 seat stadium] and Lazio. So why in Rome [3mln] the crowds are constantly far smaller than in Rovigo [51k]?

The answer lay in more than one aspect, but the core of it is that rugby and membership with the club have different results from area to area. Pro14 - Treviso demonstrates it - does not escape from this rule.

There's one of the biggest International Film Festival in Venice each year with tons is stars and quite all the films got sold out, but cinemas in Venice are struggling to survive, cause quite no one goes to cinema during the year.

Cheers PR-WSM

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Figaro » Mon, 16 Nov 2020, 09:05

When Zebre played a one off game in L'Aquila - a small city fairly close to Rome - they drew a crowd of 5,000, which was far more than they have ever managed in Parma.

Obviously it was a one off so doesn't necessarily indicate what kind of regular crowd a team would draw, but for a team with no obvious link to the area it's very promising. I don't think it's unreasonable to be confident that a Rome or L'Aquila based top level team would manage *at least* the 2,000-odd fans that Treviso get, and do better than Zebre do in Parma.

The other thing is while it's probable a few Zebre fans made the trip for the game, by definition there can't have been many because the crowd was 5x bigger than Zebre normally get. So even if *all* the regular fans made the several hundred km round trip (hardly likely) they were still only a fifth of the crowd. I don't think there's much danger that a third team would draw support away from the existing teams, wherever you put it, because I think the existing teams' support outside Treviso / Parma themselves is basically zero.

The issue isn't really players either. If you have the cash you can build up the teams with foreigners - based on my count Zebre and Treviso have six non Italian qualified players each, so even if you added 40 new foreign players to make a third team (which is obviously not how you would do it) and then distributed them evenly between the three teams, each team would still be 3/5ths Italian. That's comparable to some Top14 / English premiership sides' shares of English players!

The problem is the money to fund a third team. Pro rugby teams aren't cheap and they don't make money - even those in England or New Zealand make a loss / rely on their national teams' subsidies. So basically you're relying on a wealthy benefactor (who might withdraw their money any time, or die or whatever) or some other external source of funding, which just don't exist.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby SK2 » Mon, 16 Nov 2020, 11:20

It seems Italy can`t live with the Pro14/16 and and also not without. They are too good for T2 and too bad for T1.

It`s frustrating.

But at least from a national Team standpoint I can see them being really really close to a breakthrough.

The amount of quality players coming through from the U20s is amazing at the moment. Garbisi, Mori, Varney etc bring a lot of hope with them.
And the "Stars" of the team are rather young as well. Minozzi, Polledri, and Allan are young enough to play a hugh role for quite some time. If you add to that the soon to be italy-qualified players like Ioane and Faiva this year and Duvenage, Ratuva and Halafihi next year I see hope that italy can build some depth as well.

Especially the back three and back row can become positions of strength. The back row gets all the press but a Ioane, Minozzi, Bellini Back three with Padovani on the bench sounds like a lot of fun too.

Even the difficult positions of flyhalf and scrumhalf seem to be covered. With Garbisi being the enourmous talent he is and Allan being Allan, italy might actually have 2 class flyhalves soon. Canna played awesome in the last few games as well, eventhough he seems to be the preferred 12 at the moment. Rizzi also looked good for Zebre.
Violi had a slow first game back in the business but I liked how he played against scotland and Varney looks like a great talent, I watched some Gloucester games and he looked great. Duvenage will qualify next year and add quality and depth. Oh and there is also Braley.

I also like Franco Smith as a coach. Italy seem to develop its own style of rugby (I can recommand squidge rugby videos on this subject) instead of aiming for individual wins.

The losing mentality problem is one that also gets mentioned a lot. And while that may be true for some of the older players. The Pro14 Sides are winning more and more so they can get some experience how to win games from their clubs as well. And the young U20 players are not accustomed to losing against T1 competion all the time.

All in all. The players are there and the coach is there. They need to grow as a team and the young guys need to continue to improve. If that happens I can see them win some games again.

And if italy wins games, the TV Revenue from the six nations will rise and I see a lot more realistic options how they can build up their domestic competition. With Pro14 or without.

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