The Ospreys have agreed a formal relationship with Italian club Rugby Rovigo Rugby Delta FEMI-CZ that will see the two organisations collaborating closely on a series of new initiatives.
This exciting new agreement will see the Ospreys and Rovigo, one of the leading Italian clubs and 11 times winner of Super 10, the domestic championship in Italy, sharing and exchanging technical expertise and resources, with a view to improving the organisational, commercial and competitive capabilities of the two organisations.
Ospreys Elite Performance Director, Andrew Hore, said:
“We are delighted to be able to confirm this new partnership with Rovigo, that will allow both set-ups to pool resources where appropriate, and to work together for the long-term benefit of both organisations. We have been in discussions with our counterparts at Rovigo for some time, and to be able to reach agreement on the various ways in which we collaborate is fantastic news.
“Rugby in Italy is making huge strides, and the introduction of two Italian teams to the Magners League is a massive step forward, opening up a host of new opportunities for a forward thinking organisation like the Ospreys. Rovigo are a proud and successful club with a long history, who remain forward thinking and who have embraced the opportunities presented by the changes to Italian rugby, and like us, have a strong desire to break new ground when it comes to rugby development.
“The avenues open to both the Ospreys and Rovigo through this relationship are many. As well as being able to tap into each others rugby knowledge, there are player and coach development opportunities, as well as exciting business opportunities, that can only stand both parties in good stead.”
Antonio Zambelli, Managing Director of FEMI-CZ Rugby Rovigo Delta, commented:
“We welcome this initiative, which should have a positive impact for both clubs. The opportunity for us to link-up with one of Europe’s established leading clubs is a fantastic one, which will allow both clubs to develop and become stronger."
Club officials, Roger Blyth, (Managing Director Ospreys Rugby) and Antonio Zambelli, his Rugby Rovigo Delta counterpart, agreed wholeheartedly on the direction of the initiatives.
Antonio Zambelli, added:
“There will be exchange opportunities for players and coaches, and we also look forward to collaborating through friendly matches and pre-season preparations. For Rovigo and the Ospreys, this is an exciting partnership that we hope will be in place for many seasons.”
Based in Veneto in Northern Italy and playing at the 5,000 capacity Stadio Comunale Mario Battaglini, Rovigo were founded in 1935 by a medical student named Dino Lanzoni. They have won the top flight in Italian rugby on 11 occasions, with only two clubs (Milan and Benetton Treviso) winning more, the most recent success coming in 1990. Amongst the famous faces linked to Rovigo during their long history is former British & Irish Lions Head Coach, Carwyn James, who enjoyed a spell in charge of the club during the late seventies. Rovigo have participated in Europe’s second tier club competition, the Challenge Cup, on nine separate occasions including the current campaign, facing Welsh opposition in the form of Caerphilly, Ebbw Vale and Newport in the pre-regional era.