• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Italy's refugee rugby team tries for success
An Italian rugby team made up mostly of refugees have been admitted into Italy's Serie C1.Photo: Dave Griffiths/Flickr

Italy's refugee rugby team tries for success

The Local · 7 Jan 2016, 09:20

Published: 07 Jan 2016 09:20 GMT+01:00

The new outfit, Le Tre Rose from Casale Monferrato in Piedmont, was initially forbidden from playing in the Serie C league because federation laws state that each squad can only have one foreign player, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

The rules were designed to support the development Italian rugby talent at grassroots level, but they had blocked the team from starting the season as 80 percent of the squad is made of African refugees who have fled wars and persecution to find a better life in Italy.

The squad was therefore forced to spend two months petitioning the Italian Rugby Federation and the Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) in order to get the go-ahead to compete.

The rules were finally waived in December.

The rugby federation said that special dispensation had been granted for Le Tre Rose as the squad represented an important opportunity for social integration.

“Support and solidarity for friends are without doubt characteristics of the sport and so we accepted their request,” the federation's president, Alfredo Gavazzi, said.

“Our primary aim is to promote the game of rugby and through the game teach values typical of the sport.”

Although the team has permission to compete, it will be prevented from advancing to Serie B should it finish in the playoff positions at the end of the season - due to its extreme majority of foreign players.

However, here is little risk of the team finishing anywhere near the top of Serie C.

Most of the refugees playing for Le Tre Rose hadn't seen a rugby ball before setting foot in Italy and had to learn the game from scratch with the help of enthusiastic local players.

Story continues below…

In their first game, played at the end of December, the team lost 85-7 to Acqui Terme – one of the league's high flyers. They fared slightly better in their second outing against Novi Ligure going down just 37-0.

But clearly, at this stage at least, results don't matter.

“Above all else it's about playing,” club manager Luca Patrucco said. “Being here is already a miracle.”

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Italy earthquake
Italy prepares to mourn earthquake dead
Collapsed buildings in Amatrice. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

No survivors have been found since Thursday.

Italy earthquake
Rescuers search for 15 still missing in Amatrice
A suitcase in the rubble of a collapsed home in Amatrice. Photo: Angela Giuffrida/The Local

A team of specialist rescue workers from Shanghai is searching for 15 people unaccounted for in Amatrice, the Lazio town torn apart by Wednesday's devastating earthquake.

Italy earthquake
Italy’s museums offer takings to restore quake-hit region
A damaged church in Amatrice. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italy's museums will donate all money raised from ticket sales on Sunday to help restore cultural treasures damaged or destroyed by Wednesday’s 6.0 magnitude in central Italy.

Italy earthquake
Food the only comfort for Italy’s earthquake survivors
A refugee dines at a makeshift camp in central Italy. Photo: Mario Laporta/AFP

"Because even in these dire cases it's important to give a good meal to those who have lost everything."

Italy earthquake
In pics: Makeshift shelters house Italy's quake refugees
An earthquake victim beds down at a makeshift shelter in Amatrice. Photo: Marco Zepatella/AFP

An estimated 2,500 people have lost their homes following the 6.0 magnitude earthquake which hit central Italy on Wednesday.

Italy earthquake
Strong aftershock rattles devastated Amatrice
An aftershock measuring 4.8 struck Amatrice again on Friday morning. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The small town of Amatrice was hit by another aftershock, measuring 4.8 in magnitude, on Friday morning, causing more damage in the centre of the town where at least 193 were killed in Wednesday’s devastating earthquake.

Italy earthquake
Three Britons among dead in Italy earthquake
Rescuers continued their search for bodies on Friday morning. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

At least eight foreigners, including three Britons, a Spanish national, a Canadian and a citizen from El Salvador, were among the 250 people killed when a powerful earthquake struck central Italy this week, officials said, as rescuers continued the grim search for corpses on Friday.

Italy earthquake
Italy earthquake death toll revised down to 241
Volunteers join rescue services in Amatrice. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

UPDATED: The death toll from a powerful earthquake in central Italy was revised downwards to 241 on Thursday but officials cautioned it could rise again as rescuers continued a grim search for corpses, as powerful aftershocks rocked the devastated area.

Italy quake: Probe opens into building collapses
Collapsed buildings in central Amatrice. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italian prosecutors have opened an investigation into building collapses in the Lazio towns of Accumoli and Amatrice following Wednesday’s earthquake.

Italy earthquake: Here's how you can help
Rescuers continue to hand for survivors. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The earthquake on Wednesday, which claimed the lives of at least 247 people, has had a devastating impact on four Italian towns.

Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Why discontented Italians could derail their economy
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Culture
Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still rich today
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Culture
So why do pasta-loving Italians live such long lives?
National
Italy's Renzi prepares for stormy autumn
Society
This 104-year-old just saw the sea for the first time
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
National
Should Rome give up on its 2024 Olympic dream?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants
Culture
Ten 'Italian' dishes that don't actually exist in Italy
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Sport
Five Italian athletes going for gold at the Rio Olympics
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Trastevere: From a fiery past to Rome’s souvenir stand
Politics
Think Trump would be a disaster? Just ask the Italians
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
How Brexit has helped to expose Italy’s banking malaise
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Politics
After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Lifestyle
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
National
Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
2,504
jobs available