25 April 1981
Photography by Giancarlo Corciulo, Publifoto
© Intesa Sanpaolo Publifoto Archive
The birth of the sport that takes its name from the English town of Rugby dates back to 1823, though the game was not played in Italy until the early years of the 20th century. From 1927 to 1929 the support for this sport on the part of the Fascist regime led to the sudden growth and popularity of rugby, which was seen as suitable for athletic training and to foster a combative spirit. Due to its status during the two decades of Fascism, after World War II the sport went through a period of crisis in Italy. In those years it was sustained by the activities of promotion and organization carried out by the British troops during the occupation, including soldiers from countries where rugby was very popular, such as New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.