By Phil Caplan, Date: 12/5/13
Using their inaugural appearance in this autumnâ€™s Rugby League World Cup as a springboard, the Federazione Italiana Rugby League is determined to ensure further growth in all areas of the sport.
In addition to an expanded senior menâ€™s competition â€“ which will see 12 teams play in three regions, four of them newcomers – and increased youth activity, FIRL is also restarting womenâ€™s rugby league.
In March 2004, Italyâ€™s women’s national team played in France against XIII Provencal, with their hosts returning the compliment that July.
In 2007 there was a demonstration game between two womenâ€™s rugby league teams in Monselice during the Simone Franchini 9s tournament.
This year FIRL has seen an increase in interest from women players who want to try their hand at rugby league.
As a result, the governing body is organizing some selection matches to help in the selection of the Italian national women’s team, which will play at the end of June in an international tournament in Paris.
Coach Alessandro Cuomo said, â€It is an honour for me to assume this role. I am delighted FIRL asked me to restart the womenâ€™s national team and look forward to improving their skills and to being very competitive on the field. I am really excited to get to work.â€