Italy fail to catch Six Nations fever
February 4, 2000
Italy's introduction into the expanded Six Nations championship has failed to spark the imagination of the soccer loving Azzurri.
Indications are that the crowd for tomorrow's clash with Scotland, the first game Italy have played in the official European championship, will fall well short of the 28,000 capacity at the Stadio Flaminio.
So far, only 20,000 tickets have been sold for the clash and of those, an estimated 8,000 have gone to a sizeable cottish travelling support.
Tickets will be available until shortly efore kick-off tomorrow but the chances of a sell-out are slight.
In contrast, nearly triple the number f fans are likely to attend Roma's Serie A encounter with Venezia at the nearby tadio Olimpico.
Except for a few posters dotted around dvertising hordings near to the stadium in the north-west of the city, there as been little promotion of the event, bringing back memories of the dismal arketing which accompanied last year's World Cup.
"Rugby is not really seen as a national sport in Italy," said one Rome
"There is interest in certain parts of the country but mainly it is soccer,
"I can't see that situation ever changing, although if the rugby team start to do well, the interest will rise."
Firdose Moonda talks to Rob Louw about the difficulties of being a South African touring New Zealand at the height of Apartheid
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games