Following successful trial camps, Italy have named their squad for a two match U19s series against the touring England Lionhearts Youth.
Both matches will be played in Este.
Rugby league has formally expanded into the south of Italy with the launch of the Southern Zone Committee, in accordance with Federazione Italiana Rugby League regulations.
Three Sicilian clubs, Belpasso Rectores, Palermo XIII and Nissaa RL, have applied for membership to FIRL and will be formally inducted into the federation at the organization’s forthcoming AGM.
By Rob Wilkinson, Date: 18/5/15
So. what exactly is going on with rugby league in Italy? Why the division and what lessons can be learnt for the future of the game, both in Italy and in other nations that are in a development phase?
For some of the answers, you'd be well advised to talk to Pierluigi Gentile, head of the breakaway Lega Italiana Rugby Football League and, by his own admission 'a rugby league revolutionary' who wants to spread the game as widely as possible across Italy.
The Rugby League International Federation has today (May 6th 2015) issued the following statement concerning Italian rugby league:
“On 14 April 2015 the Italian rugby union (FIR) issued its communique ‘no. 7’ which indicated that an association named Lega Italia Rugby Football League (LIRFL) has been appointed to administer rugby league and rugby league 9s under the aegis of FIR.
After many years of words, the doubts are finally gone. The world of international rugby league calling for clarity on FIRL (federation that was in the RLWC 2013) and FIRFL (federation with the largest number of participants and most present on the Italian territory), has been satisfied.
A school’s rugby league festival at the Stadium Augusteo in Este for 14-16 year olds saw over 250 youngsters take part, 60 of them girls.
Schools from Ponso, Ospedaletto, Carceri, Cinto, Vo Lozzo Atestina, Villa Estense, Sant Urbano and Sant Elana took part with their pupils learning the fundamentals of the sport.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 was an historic day, unforgettable, for Italian Rugby League. The reason it can be read directly in the statement of the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) that day in Chapter 3.8, under the title “Irfl: examine statute and request for taking act”.
The FIRFL have promoted an official FIR press release that states:
Once again, the defending champions of the last edition of the Italian Cup, Usag Roma, have lifted the trophy again in 2015 at Campi Bisenzio, on a beautiful day in the climax of this year’s event, which saw a completely new formula.
The Federazione Italiana Rugby League has completed its junior development camps in the north-east of the country as they prepare to launch their first U18 club championship in June.
National team coach Paul Broadbent and RLEF-trained coach tutors Kelly Rolleston and Tiziano Franchini again took charge following on from the initial camp, in the north-west, last month.