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England Students "moved" by Italian trip

19 March 2012

  • England Students beaten 67-10 in Italy
  • Not the result we had hoped for – Colwell
Both England and Italy pose for a photo

Photo: Getty Images

England Students were on the wrong end of a 67-10 scoreline against a strong Emerging Italy side in L’Aquila yesterday, but Team Manager Steve Colwell said that, despite the result, the whole experience of playing in the Italian town was “incredibly moving.”

The Students and management took time out of their training to experience the devastation caused to their host town by a powerful earthquake in 2009.

The tour helped the players understand the significance of the fixture to the people of L'Aquila and to further appreciate the determination of SRFU Chairman Bob Reeves to play rugby in the town.

England and Italy engage in the scrum

Photo: Getty Images

England players followed up the visit with an organised community coaching session with L'Aquila's junior teams, led by David Murray.

Carlo Caione, the head of L'Aquila's ‘Forze L'Aquila’ charity was also invited to present the match shirts to the England players the evening before the game which was televised on RAI Sport and attracted a strong crowd at Stadio Tommasso Fattori.

Colwell said: "It was an incredibly moving experience for everyone; it really allowed us to appreciate just how important this fixture was for the people of L'Aquila, who have lost so much. 

England clap Italy through

Photo: Getty Images

“As a team, we were extremely privileged to take part in the game which will raise funds to provide sporting facilities for the next generation of L'Aquila residents. 

“We were made to feel incredibly welcome throughout the trip and there was a genuine excitement about the game in the town.

"And while the result is not what we had been hoping for – we were up against a strong, experienced Italian side – the whole week has been brilliant.”