6 Nov 2009

Mallet still keen on Flaminio as venue

11:43 am on 6 November 2009

The Italian rugby coach Nick Mallett wants his side to stay based at Rome's Stadio Flaminio despite an 80,000 sell-out expected for the November the 14th clash with the All Blacks at Milan's San Siro.

The huge appetite for the first of Italy's November tests has raised the prospect of Six Nations matches being played in the north, which has always been the heartland of Italian rugby.

The Flaminio's 32,000 capacity and decaying stands would be another reason to move but Mallett is a big fan.

He says Flaminio is a very attractive stadium for Italian rugby to play in and also for other teams to come to and it's good for international rugby to be played in cities such as Paris, Rome and London.

Italy wants to enter two club sides in the Celtic League next year to boost the standard of its players but a traditional row between the rich north and poorer south has broken out.

The Italian federation originally offered one of the spots for the Welsh, Irish and Scottish league to a new Rome franchise but financial problems led to Treviso being given the slot instead alongside fellow northerners Aironi.

Mallet says Italian rugby should have a third spot in the Celtic League and that it should definitely go to Rome.