Italy and Italian Rugby – a personal view

Mike Williams, founder of Intoursport, explains why he holds Italy, and Italian rugby, so close to his heart.

My first experience of Italian Rugby was in 1962 when invited to guest for Clifton RFC on their tour to Milan, I played two matches against Milano AC and CUS Milano. Both were surprisingly competitive, so much so that Bristol’s local paper concluded:

“It is my firm belief the Italians have arrived as a force to be reckoned with on the international rugby scene.”

22 years later I ruefully remembered this, when as part of the England School RFU’s mission to “spread the word”, England’s U16 Group toured the country, losing their first match of a three match tour!

Having enjoyed such an association with Italy for so many years, during which I have organising tours for a number of Italian teams, it is natural that, as the roots of Italian Rugby grow deeper and become more far flung, that we would seek to help develop rugby in this glorious country.

And, what a country it is – beautiful architecture, varied scenery, magnificent cityscapes, beaches galore, mountains to climb, lakes of great splendour, food to savour and its people, their voices singing with musicality, to love.

All of this and a history that takes your breath away!


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