By Phil Caplan, Date: 20/10/13
FIRL President Orazio D’Arro has said that his nation’s 15-14 over co-hosts England in a World Cup warm up match at Salford is, “a great moment for the game in Italy.”
“This is a win we could only have dreamed about a few years ago but the growth of the game and the willingness of star players to wear the Azzurri colours has been a big boost,” he added.
“Hopefully this win will give us prominence in Italy that we can be good at this wonderful sport on the biggest stage.”
Italy face Scotland, Tonga and Wales – their first opponents as part of the opening ceremony in Cardiff next Saturday – in the group stages and are now being touted as a good bet to make the quarter finals of the tournament.
“I’m proud of the way the youngsters from Italy have grown in just a few days by mixing with legends they look up to,” D’Arro added. “This is a great day for Rugby League’s future in Italy and a perfect start to our World Cup campaign.”
“We had no doubts about being competitive before the match. I have great faith in the senior players and we have a wonderful and inspiring captain in Anthony Minichiello.”
“The side has built up considerably in the past season and we have planned our first ever World Cup campaign well. We will get better and so will England. This is a great moment for Rugby League in Italy.”