NEW STEP IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF HIGH PERFORMANCE WOMEN'S RUGBY
GREATER EXPOSURE TO INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITY FOR THE BEST ITALIAN ATHLETES
COLLABORATION WITH THE SPANISH FEDERATION FOR THE 2024 ACTIVITY OF THE TWO NEW FRANCHISES
Rome - The Italian Rugby Federation expands the federal technical project dedicated to the high-performance women's game with the creation of two franchises that will take part in a joint project with the Spanish Federation (FER) and the support of the international federation World Rugby.
Benetton Rugby and Zebre Parma, with the general co-ordination of FIR, will make available the experience gained in over ten years of participation in the United Rugby Championship - formerly the Celtic League - to create two federal selections, which will allow the best Italian athletes coming from the Serie A Élite and Serie A to increase the number of international engagements through the comparison with homologous realities of the Iberian rugby scene. At the same time, the franchises will increase and accelerate the exposure to high performance for the best young players of potential interest for the senior national team.
At the same time, the project of the newborn female franchises will guarantee more opportunities for comparison with elite international contexts also to the technical roles coming from the federal training pathway, with the technical guidance entrusted to the assistant coaches of the National Women's Team: Plinio Sciamanna, coach of the Azzurre forwards, will be the coach of Zebre Parma, while Francesco Iannucci, who recently joined the staff of the Azzurre with the role of defence coach, will lead Benetton Rugby.
In 2024 the two franchises, which will see the athletes join their respective rosters on a territorial basis, will play two matches each: on 7 January Zebre Parma and Benetton Rugby will make their debut in Spain. It will then be the Italians who will host the Iberian selections: on February 10th, Zebre will play at home at the "Lanfranchi" and Benetton will do the same the following day on the Monigo turf.
Francesca Gallina, Federal Councillor and President of the sub-commission of Rugby Europe for the Women's Game, underlines how "the franchises are a further and relevant step in the framework of the development of rugby that the current governance is trying to develop, in the awareness that the potential of women's rugby, of which last year's World Cup in New Zealand proved to be a proof of the interest aroused among fans and sponsors, has not yet fully exploded in Italy and we must therefore continue to work at all levels for the development of rugby played by girls, girls and women of all ages, at every level".
Giuliana Campanella, Manager of the National Women's Team and coordinator of the Franchigie project, said: "The birth of the women's franchises is an important moment for the whole movement, a great opportunity to be seized first and foremost for a greater growth of our athletes and the National Team. It is a precious opportunity to improve women's rugby in terms of the quality of all the technical profiles: players, coaches and trainers, coaches and trainers, managers, and all the components involved in the project will be able to measure themselves in an international context, generating and consolidating those skills and attitudes that are now more necessary than ever in women's rugby. I am certain that this will be the beginning of a new path for all of Italian rugby".