Italy hoping to host All Blacks at San Siro

Italy’s rugby union is hopeful of playing their 2009 autumn test match against New Zealand at Milan’s 80,000 capacity San Siro stadium.

Talking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Matteo Pastore, the head of RCS Sport – the company that will promote the 2008 and 2009 autumn test series, said it was his aim to bring Graham Henry’s team to San Siro.

“The dream is to take the All Blacks to Milan to open San Siro to the great sport of rugby,” he said.

The Italian rugby federation feels that the 30,000 capacity Stadio Flaminio in Rome is too small for so well known a team, whilst the 70,000 capacity Stadio Olimpico has impaired visibility due to the running track that surrounds the pitch.

Federation pesident Giancarlo Dondo said that filling the home of AC and Inter Milan for rugby would be possible.

“We are growing and thanks to this agreement we will continue to become even more visible,” Dondo said.

Italy are due to play three tests in autumn 2008. They take on Australia in Padova on November 8, Argentina on November 15 in Turin and the Pacific Islands a week later at a yet to be chosen venue.

In 2009, Italy welcome South Africa, New Zealand and Samoa. The last time Italy played the All Blacks was at the 2007 Rugby World Cup at Stade Velodrome in Marseille with New Zealand winning 76-14.

Sapa-AFP –

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