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Arvalia Villa Phamphili Rugby Roma – a bit of history
The Arvalia Villa Pamphili Rugby Roma club was founded in 1980 by Salvatore Gallo who played a key role in the development of youth rugby in Rome.
The club takes its name from the polo grounds of the Villa Pamphili park in Rome where the team originally practiced, and from the Arvalia Corviale neighborhood of Rome where the club finally found a home field in 2007.
Over the past years, the club fielded teams in most age groups, participated in the regional and national rugby championships, and was the first Roman team to create a woman’s section in the national championship.
The Villa Old is the veterans section of the Arvalia Villa Phamphili Rugby Roma club, it was founded in 1995 and played its first game outside the Lazio region in November 1997 against CUS Firenze.
The team stuck together during an 18-game losing streak between October 1999 when several founding members left and February 2001 which marked a turning point for the team. Since 2002, the team consolidated, practices every Wednesday and typically plays 1 game every month; it has been invited to the major old-boys rugby tournaments in Italy and will typically host foreign teams coming to Rome during the 6 Nations Tournament.
The Villa Old keeps the old boys tradition alive; on any given game, it will field a team composed of players who just started playing rugby, more experienced players and over-60 year-olds such as Toni de Santoli (fly half), Giorgio Stenico (forward and three-quarter), Carlo Lombardi (scrum half), Beppe Profilli (three-quarters) and Tonino Fabrizio (fly half).
– Foreign teams we hosted: West Cliff, England (2003); Chingford, England (2004); Alcatel Corpo, France and Caernarfon, Wales (2005); Kibubu, Belgium and Gros-Elans Grenoble, France (2006); Ignobles Mondains, France (2007); Escoriones Granada, Spain (2008); Black Canuts, Lyon France (2009); Arrasate Mondragon, Basque Country
– Tournaments: Calvisano (2002), Rovigo (since 2003), Livorno (won tournament in 2007)
– International Transfers: Gros-Elans Grenoble, France(2004); Selkirk, Scotland (2007); Granada, Spain (2008). Bordeaux, France (2009); Blanes – Barcellona (Spain) 2010; Tenerure College, Ireland (2016)
– blazon: the team’s blazon features Obelix carrying a rugby ball and a writing in Welsh Gaellic, don’t ask us what it means
– motivation: colorful pep talk by Toni in the locker room before the game will not go without calling upon the bravery of our Roman ancestors against the Etruscans, of Roman emperors such as Ottaviano, Julius Cesar, Marco Aurelio, and later at the battles of Valmy, Austerliz
– terzo tempo: the Villa Old post-game ‘terzo tempo’ mixes popular roman and rugby traditions of good food, good wine and bad songs
– hidden talent: the Villa Old SongMaster and Terzo Tempo ring leader, Stefano Pittaro can often be found banging the drums for the Banda dei Carabinieri during the national anthems of 6 Nations games at Stadio Flaminio.