Italy to move Six Nations matches to Florence

Italy’s home Six Nations matches look set to be moved from Rome to Florence after Italian Rugby bosses ran out of patience on Friday with owners of the ageing Stadio Flaminio.

Italy beat France at the Flaminio last month which was the highlight of their Six Nations campaign and the party atmosphere at the decaying arena highlighted as one of the reasons behind the success.

The Italian Rugby federation have however long bemoaned the lack of improvement work on the poor facilities in Rome and plan to move their future matches to Florence where they hosted their first test against Australia in November.

“The Italian rugby federation board has decided home matches in the Six Nations will be transferred to the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence in the absence of a definitive and rapid resolution of the problems with the Stadio Flaminio,” a federation statement said.

Italian Rugby officials were left red-faced in 2009 when they had plans to play world champions South Africa in a test in Florence but had to be called off as Fiorentina the city’s football team planned a match for the same day at the stadium.

That match was moved at the last minute to Udine.

Also in 2009 the Azzuri sold out the 80,000-seater San Siro in Milan for a match against the All Blacks but as the football teams AC Milan and Inter Milan use the stadium almost every weekend in February-March they cannot play their Six Nations matches at the venue.

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