Rugby in the sunshine. Italy v England, the knights have it.

Flying from the beginning
 
I’ve been in Rome for 4 years and this was my first 6 Nations Rugby match (last year I didn’t go because it was too rainy. Poor I know). From the outset, England won on the fancy dress front. Knights, morris dancers, Roman centurions and a group of stereotypical 6 nationers, a leek, a frenchman, a scot, a leprechaun – sounds like the beginning of a very bad joke.

 

We certainly had a good day for it. Blue skies and 20 degree heat. Welcome England, this is what we call sunshine. Suncream at the ready, whatever the outcome of the match there would be some red English faces that evening.

The nature of Roman tourists certainly changes with the rugby season. Lots of square-jawed, burly men wandering about the city streets searching in vain for some cheap beer hole to pass the hours before and after the match. 

The poshest rugby name ever?

 

They’re not the sort of rugby fans that I’m used to. But then I’m from a rugby league town and we take pride our professional roots, play for nowt? How would we pay for the flat caps and whippets? And whilst, as Justine says Billy Twelvetrees is THE poshest name in the world, is it time to give up my aversion to the hooray-henry, floppy-haired, yellow trouser wearing sport, however much fun it is? Still undecided, but I do like a spectacle whoever is playing. (Apparently since Union took on some League rules the game has improved, that’s just Julie’s perspective but she knows what she’s talking about).

The 6 Nations were always a dilemma for me being mostly English, a bit Welsh, slightly less Scottish and a tiny speck of Irish. So I was never too bothered about who won. Now add my home, Italy to that mix and I’m torn. So we cheered both sides. But then so did the fans around us, clapping a good move or tackle whichever side it was on. How very civilised.

 

 

Although England dominated the match, they didn’t have it all their own way. Italy were the first to score and a late try denied England the points difference they needed to secure the 6 Nations title. Third time lucky next year? And I’m always happy for the Irish to win anything, specially for St Patrick’s Day on Monday. As for the Azzurri, Forza! The World Cup starts in June. See you on the football pitch?

 

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